b.baker at neu.edu
Fri Dec 10 09:30:35 PST 2010
Details are not yet in, but it appears that India and the European Union are
resolving India’s WTO complaint about seizure of medicines in transit.
Although I am only reading between the lines, it sounds like alleged and
fictional patent violations will no longer be the grounds for border
measures, though actual counterfeit trademark violations will be. If the
story is accurate, this is an important, if partial, victory for AIDS
The news about the impending EU-India Economic Partnership Agreement is more
complex. Associated Press reports that it has actually seen a copy of the
text and that it contains data exclusivity – something that has been fought
tooth and nail in India for many years. Although it is likely that the DE
provision might have an exceptions clause that would allow for reference to
or reliance on registration-related data in the case of compulsory licenses
or other public health needs, the comparable position in the Peru-EU EPA was
highly restrictive. However, we won’t know more until we can actually see
the leaked text.
Professor Brook K. Baker
Health GAP (Global Access Project)
Northeastern U. School of Law
Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115 USA
Honorary Research Fellow, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, S. Africa
b.baker at neu.edu
10 December 2010 Last updated at 16:22 GMT
India-EU generic drug row 'resolved' at Brussels summit
A row between the EU and India over the transit of generic drugs through Europe has been resolved, negotiators told Reuters news agency.
As a result of the deal at an India-EU summit in Brussels, an Indian complaint to the World Trade Organization will be suspended, India's trade minister said.
EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said the shape of a broad free trade agreement (FTA) had been agreed.
The pact, one of the world's biggest, should be finalised in 2011, he added.
Details of the proposed FTA were not released but medical rights campaigners fear its provisions may undermine future supplies of cheap Indian generic drugs for HIV/Aids and other conditions.
India and Brazil brought a case to the WTO in 2009, accusing the EU of wrongly stopping and inspecting shipments of generic drugs in transit.
Both Indian Trade and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and EU trade chief Karel De Gucht confirmed to Reuters on Friday that the transit dispute had been resolved.
"This is a great breakthrough which will of course lead to a suspension of WTO proceedings, so the dispute is over," said Mr Sharma.
Mr De Gucht said: "I reconfirmed we are going to amend present regulation so as to put into practice what has been agreed.
"[Generic drug] transports in transit will no longer be checked, except for counterfeiting."
The EU has still to negotiate with Brazil, Reuters adds.
In a joint statement, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Mr Barroso said they looked forward to a FTA being concluded in the spring.
In a separate statement, Mr Barroso said "very important progress" had been made towards a broad-based FTA.
Having agreed on its basic contours, the parties would work on "the final political push", he said. "This free trade zone will bring together markets of 1.5 billion people," he said.
"It will be a key contribution to the global recovery and a signal for global openness and also a signal against protectionism," Mr Barroso added.
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