[Ip-health] Thai People demand EU stop hypocrisy and not stealing the poor's medicine via Trade Agreements [Global Week of Action on EU-FTAs]

Jockey jockey.kit at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 03:05:02 PDT 2013


*Thai People demand EU stop hypocrisy and not stealing the poor's medicine
via Trade Agreements [Global Week of Action on EU-FTAs]*

*
*

9 April 2013: 9.00 AM today, around 100 Thai civil society from FTA Watch
and people networks gathered in front of the Office of the Delegation of
the European Union to Thailand on Wireless Road, Bangkok, urging the EU not
to breach its commitments to improving public health in developing
countries and to respect its own Parliament’s resolution to protect public
health and access to medicines over excessive Intellectual Properties rules.


FTA Watch announced this activity to be part of Global Week of Action on
EU-FTAs organized by activists and civil society around the world, in
Europe and developing countries, during the period of last negotiation
round for EU-India FTA while the EU-Thai FTA negotiation is scheduled to
begin in less than a month.


The EU Delegation to Thailand insisted not to meet with the group. The Thai
CSOs sent a letter opposing the EU-Thai FTA negotiation with TRIPS+ and
ISDS, via a police officer on duty, to Mr. Martin Schulz, the President of
the European Parliament, and Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the
European Commission.


Below is the letter's content:

April 9, 2013





Dear    Mr. Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, and

Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission





It was with great disappointment that the global community working on the
promotion of access to affordable medicines witnessed the official launch
of the negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and
Thailand, during the Thai Prime Minister’s visit in Brussels on March
4-8.  Civil
society organizations are concerned that intellectual property (IP)
provision exceeding World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on IP (known as
TRIPS-plus provision), which are damageable to access to affordable
essential medicines, are included in the negotiating text.



Previous FTA negotiating texts between the EU and South Korea, ASEAN, and
India encompassed IP TRIPS-Plus provisions which lead us to think that the
EU is trying to include similar IP provisions in the Thailand FTA
negotiations.  Investment measures are another cause of concerns to us. We
are particularly worried about investor-to-state dispute settlement
mechanism inserted in the FTA’s investment chapter which allow a foreign
company to sue a state if it assesses that a national law or policy
constrains its enjoyment of investment rights.  This risks constraining
national policy and legislation in the domain of public health, for
example.



These provisions threaten access to lifesaving medicines for patients in
developing countries and undermine governments’ abilities to regulate in
the public interest. Strict IP TRIPS-plus provisions undermine the generic
medicines’ industry, which is the key to create more competition in order
to lower drug prices and secure people’s access to essential
medicines.  Moreover,
IP and investment provisions could circumvent the use of TRIPS flexibility
by governments to provide its population with medicines.  Details of the
TRIPS plus provisions in the EU’s FTAs and their adverse impact are as in
the attached document.



The EU pursuing TRIPS-plus obligations is incoherent with its own
commitment to the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public
Health, that puts public health before IP rights and encourages WTO members
to fully use TRIPS safeguard provisions to protect public health and
enhance access to medicines for developing countries.



The European Parliament resolution on the TRIPS Agreement and access to
medicines (12/07/2007) urges the EU to:

·         Expressly endorse full implementation in developing countries of
TRIPS flexibilities as recognized in the Doha Declaration to promote access
to medicines for all (e.g. the use of compulsory licenses),

·         Keep its commitments to the Doha Declaration and to restrict the
Commission's mandate so as to prevent it from negotiating
pharmaceutical-related TRIPS-plus provisions affecting public health and
access to medicines, such as data exclusivity, patent extensions and
limitation of grounds of compulsory licenses, within the framework of the
EPA negotiations with the ACP countries and other future bilateral and
regional agreements with developing countries.



Even though the European Parliament voted against ACTA on July 4th, 2012,
we are concerned that provisions similar to ACTA’s border and IP
enforcement measures, that would undermine the production and trade of
generic medicines worldwide, have been integrated in the FTAs the EU is
currently negotiating with Thailand and India.



We urge the EU not to breach its commitments to improving public health in
developing countries and to respect its own Parliament’s resolution
protecting public health access over excessive IP rules.  Patients in
development countries should have access to essential medicines at
affordable prices and their governments should have the political space
necessary to use public health safeguard and pursue pro-public health
policies.  Recommendations on IP rules and public health made by
international organizations, such as UNDP, UNAIDS, WHO, UNITAID or the
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, should be taken into
consideration by the European Commission (EC) while negotiating FTA.



We, the undersigned civil society organizations in Thailand, stand in
solidarity with all other civil society agencies in Europe and other
developing countries and urge the EC to bear in mind access to medicines
considerations while negotiating FTAs and to refrain from pressuring
developing nations to accept TRIPS-plus provisions, as well as the
dangerous investment chapter that would reduce governments’ political space
to take pro-public health policies.



We hope that our concerns will be heard and taken into consideration. We
remain available to discuss further these issues if you wish so.





Yours faithfully,











Asst. Prof. Sumlee Jaidee

Chairperson

FTA Watch



The Thai Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+)

 Stopdrink Network

Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN)

Assembly of the Poor

4 regions of Slum Network

Renal Failure Patient Group

Cancer Patient Group

Thai NGO Coalition on AIDS

AIDS ACCESS Foundation

Foundation for AIDS Rights

Foundation for Consumers

Rural Pharmacists Foundation

Rural Pharmacy Association

Drug Study Group

BioThai Foundation

Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH)

Thai Holistic Health Foundation

Labor Alliance Group

Alcohol’s Danger Protection Campaign Network

The Network of Community Affected by Alcohol

The Network of the Alcohol’s Danger Surveillance in Bangkok

The Youth Network of the New Drinkers’ Protection

Harm Reduction Working Network (12D)

Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)
Focus on the Global South



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