[Ip-health] Indian Civil Society letter on TB Declaration negotiations -- UN High Level Meeting

leena menghaney leenamenghaney at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 05:37:50 PDT 2018


To,

Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

Mr. J. P. Nadda, Health Minister

Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Minister

Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Commerce Minister

Date: 31st July 2018

Sub: Asking India to support TRIPS flexibilities in UN High Level Meeting
on TB

Dear Mr. Modi, Mr. Nadda, Ms. Swaraj and Mr. Prabhu,

We, the undersigned, would like to draw your attention to the ongoing
negotiations on the Political Declaration on the Fight against Tuberculosis
in New York. It is well recognized that tuberculosis, including its
drug-resistant forms, is a critical challenge and the leading infectious
disease cause of death, the most common form of antimicrobial resistance
globally.



Governments are set to finalize the political declaration, two months in
advance of the first high-level TB meeting in New York on Sept. 26.



However, due to US pressure on behalf of its pharmaceutical industry,
language (PP19, OP14) on using Public Health related TRIPS flexibilities to
ensure access to affordable TB medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, were
weakened in the draft of the TB Political Declaration circulated on 20th
July.



The current text includes a cruel joke that “IP rights are an important
incentive in the development of new health products.” For TB this is
manifestly not the case. It is widely acknowledged that IP directs
investment choices away from public health needs of developing countries
such as TB considered less profitable and steers investments to areas where
pharmaceutical corporations can maximize profits for diseases affecting
more affluent populations.



In fact, to address the TB R&D needs, the TB declaration calls on
governments to contribute appropriately to research and development and
increase financing in order to close the estimated US$ 1.3 billion gap per
year for tuberculosis research.



However language on the norms that should govern such funding has been
weakened and undermined by the current draft text (OP 20 and OP22) in the draft
of the TB Political Declaration circulated on 20th July.



OP22 should be harmonised with the 2016 Political Declaration on
antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which clearly states the need to “delink
cost of investment in research and development from the price and volume of
sales so as to facilitate equitable and affordable access to new tools and
other results to be gained through research and development”.



South Africa broke the silence procedure on 24th of July and re-opened the
negotiations to address these concerns. We applaud South Africa for this
courageous step in speaking up and call on India to support South Africa on
its principled position.




We urge the Indian government to strongly support the inclusion of
appropriate language on – TRIPS flexibilities and de-linkage of research
and development from price and volume of medicines – in line with the
recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel
on Access to Medicines.



Sincerely yours,

*Organisations:*

   -

   All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN)
   -

   ARK Foundation
   -

   Citizen News Service
   -

   Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), Manipur
   -

   Daisy Dharmaraj, TEST Foundation
   -

   Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+)
   -

   Empower India
   -

   Global Coalition of TB Activists
   -

   HepCoN, Nagaland
   -

   Hepatitis Coalition of Sikkim (HepCoS)
   -

   Hopers Foundation, Chennai
   -

   Indian Drug Users' Forum, IDUF
   -

   International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, ITPC – South Asia
   -

   Kohima Users' Network, Kohima, Nagaland
   -

   Kripa Foundation, Nagaland
   -

   Lawyers Collective
   -

   Mizoram Drug Users Forum
   -

   MIHRET
   -

   Meghalaya Drug Users Network, MeDUNet
   -

   Nagaland Users' Network, Nagaland
   -

   South Indian Drug Users Forum (SIDUF)
   -

   South Indian Harm Reduction Network (SIHRN)
   -

   Touched By TB
   -

   Tripura state network of positive people
   -

   Western Harm Reduction Network, WHRN



*Individuals:*



   -

   Alex Lunminthang, HIV/HCV co-infected
   -

   Alok Mohan, Social Activist
   -

   Arumugam Sankar, Activist
   -

   Bazo Kire, TB activist
   -

   Blessina Kumar, TB Activist
   -

   Bobby Khumanthem, Activist for Harm Reduction, HIV and TB
   -

   Cedric Fernandes, Sahara, Pune
   -

   David Thapa, TB Activist, Delhi
   -

   Dr. Balasangameshwara Vollepore, Managing Partner, ANVITA
   -

   Dr Dhuni Soren, Retired Family Physician, NHS, United Kingdom
   -

   Dr Manan Ganguli, Health consultant, Ekta Niketan TB Centre, Jharkhand
   -

   Dr. Mira Shiva, Initiative for Health & Equity in Society and  Research
   Foundation  for Science, Technology & Ecology
   -

   Dr. Nidhin Joseph
   -

   Dr. Sunitha Varghese, Public health Physician, Uttar Pradesh
   -

   Edwina Pereira, Child First Foundation
   -

   Eldred Tellis, Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust
   -

   Ganesh Acharya, TB survivor & TB/HIV Activist, Maharashtra
   -

   Imrana Qadeer, Council for Social Development
   -

   Ivyreen Warjri, HCV/TB Activist, Meghalaya
   -

   Ketho Angami, Treatment Advocate, Nagaland
   -

   Loon Gangte, TB/HIV/HCV Activist
   -

   Moses Zofaka Pachuau, Health Activist, Mizoram
   -

   Nandita Venkatesan, Journalist and TB Advocate
   -

   Nini Pakma, Recovering Drug User
   -

   Prashant Sharma, Activist, Sikkim
   -

   Renbonthung, TB Activist, Nagaland
   -

   Rhea Lobo, TB Activist
   -

   Shabab Alam, Social Activist
   -

   Sudha Nagavarapu, Independent researcher and activist, Bangalore
   -

   Sutirtha, Drug User Activist
   -

   Tilak Mutum, TB Survivor
   -

   Vekhoto Puro, Espoir Society, Nagaland


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