[Ip-health] letter to the European Parliament Delegation to Thailand

Jockey jockey.kit at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 21:59:03 PDT 2012

Dear all,

Below is a copy of the context in the letter that Thai CSOs handed to the
European Parliament Delegation to Thailand today (Mr. Werner Langen and Mr.
Robert Goebbles) on the chance they come visit Thailand.

Best regards,

August 28, 2012

Dear The European Parliament Delegation to Thailand,

We, on behalf of civil society organizations working to promote access to
affordable medicines for all in Thailand, would like to applaud the
European Parliament for their determined decision on the objection of the
Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The action as such has
confirmed the European Parliament’s intent that underlines the people’s
rights to health and recognizes people’s public health before trade

ACTA, with provisions that undermine the global access to quality and
legitimate generic

medicines, is considered as a public health threat. With the stringent
restrictions in the ACTA, generic life-saving medicines are at risk to be
seized at a port in the middle of the consignment to destination countries
as they are merely suspected the pharmaceutical products to infringe
intellectual property (IP) filed in the in-transit countries. Despite the
fact that they are quality and safe medicines and are off-patented or not
patented both in the origin and destination countries, the in-transit
seizure mechanism, known as the border measure, will block the shipment of
legitimate and legal generic medicines to the hands of million patients in
developing and less-developed countries who need the life-saving medicines
at affordable prices. The provision is considered stricter than the global
IP standard (WTO’s TRIPs Agreement) and totally against the WTO’s Doha
Declaration on TRIPs and Public Health.

Even though the European Parliament recently achieved a consensus to reject
the ACTA, we

still have grave concerns that a provision similar to the ACTA’s border
measure has been

integrated in the free trade agreement (FTA) that the European Union is now
negotiating or will open the negotiation with their target trade-partner
countries, including ASEAN, India, and Thailand. Worse than that, a great
number of additional provisions more stringent than the WTO’s TRIPs
Agreement, known as TRIPs plus provisions (e.g. data exclusivity, the
extension of patent protection period, stricter IP protection enforcement,
data exclusivity on new indication, investment chapter, etc.), have been
included in the EU FTA’s current text. These TRIPs-plus provisions will
inevitably prevent the generic medicines’ competition, technically paralyze
the use of public health safeguard measures by their trade-partner
countries, and eventually undermine access to essential medicines of people
in developing nations.

By imposing the FTA with TRIPs-plus provisions upon the trade-partner
countries, the

European Commission for Trade is acting in a direction against the motion
for a European

Parliament Resolution on Major and Neglected Diseases in Developing

(2005/2047(INI)). In the Article 1, it calls for its approach to be
broadened to other neglected

diseases; highlighting the fact that the actions of the Commission can all
be applied to other

diseases beyond HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB. And, in the Article 61, the
European Parliament

calls on the Commission and the Member States to give active support to the
implementation of the Doha Declaration and to oppose any action taken by
WTO member states that undermines the unanimous commitments made in the
declaration on intellectual property and public health, in particular
through the negotiation of 'TRIPS plus' clauses in the framework of
regional free trade agreements.

We, therefore, would like to urge the European Parliament’s members to
retain their intent to recognize health benefits before economic returns
and also apply it to the EU FTA negotiation in the same manner as they did
to the ACTA. We also request the European Parliament’s members to
scrutinize the on-going FTA negotiations with TRIPs-plus requirements,
which is considered contradicting the European Parliament Resolution.

Sincerely yours,

Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS

AIDS Access Foundation

Alternative Agriculture Network

Friends of Kidney-failure Patients Club

Cancer Patient Network

Foundation for Consumers

The Rural Pharmacist Foundation

The Rural doctor foundation

Foundation for AIDS Rights

Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS

Drug Study Group

Biodiversity and Community Right Action Thailand, (Biothai)

Health Consumer Protection program, Chulalongkorn University

Social Pharmacy Research Unit, Chulalongkorn University

Drug System Monitoring and Development Program, Chulalongkorn University

Thai Holistic Health Foundation

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand

FTA Watch

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