[Ip-health] Will the European Parliament Public Health committee formulate an opinion on ACTA?

Ante ante at ffii.org
Sat Dec 3 03:27:19 PST 2011

Will the European Parliament Public Health committee formulate an opinion
on ACTA?

with links

December 3, 2011
By Ante

As things stand now, the European Parliament committee on Environment,
Public Health and Food Safety will _not_ formulate an opinion on ACTA.
Despite all the analysis work done on the effects ACTA will have on access
to medicine, and despite health groups informed the Parliament, no Member
of Parliament has asked the committee to formulate one.

It seems that there is not much awareness or interest in this committee in
ACTA. The window of opportunity to get the committee to formulate an
opinion is closing fast. Next week, a very last attempt can be made.

This weekend, and the first days of next week, health groups have the last
possibility to contact the committee members.

Recent analysis

Oxfam released a statement regarding ACTA and Public Health: "ACTA will
undoubtedly impact access to affordable medicines in the EU and other
signatories by curbing generic competition. There are great concerns that
ACTA’s impact will extend beyond those countries that initially sign the
Agreement, potentially undermining access for millions of patients in
developing countries who depend on affordable, quality generics."

Public Citizen raised concerns that the purported benefits of ACTA for
public safety would be slim at best. Meanwhile, ACTA’s opportunity cost
for more effective measures against unsafe products could be significant.
Further, ACTA may impose direct costs on public health, by creating
uncertainty and financial disincentives for the shipping of generic
medicines. Public Citizen strongly advises a deeper and more considered
legal review of ACTA.

The Greens / EFA group commissioned a study on ACTA and Access to
Medicines. This study by Sean Flynn with Bijan Madhani concludes that ACTA
increases the risks and consequences of wrongful searches, seizures,
lawsuits and other enforcement actions for those relying on intellectual
property limitations and exceptions to access markets, including the
suppliers of legitimate generic medicines. This, in turn, is likely to
make affordable medicines more scarce and dear in many countries.

Green technology

An FFII analysis shows ACTA’s heightened measures may hinder development
and availability of medical equipment, diagnostic methods and instruments;
will restrict government flexibility, impede innovation and slow the
development and diffusion of green technology.

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