MSF response to EU Trade Commissioner on the progress of EU-India FTA talks
Dr Tido von Schoen-Angerer, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
"The European Union Trade Commissioner has asserted that the harmful data exclusivity clause is no longer part of the EU/India Free Trade Agreement text. However, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) remains concerned at the pressure the EU is exerting on India behind closed doors to change its drug laws domestically so that they would have the same impact as data exclusivity; preventing the registration of more affordable generic versions of off-patent medicines. The EU is not negotiating data exclusivity in the framework of the trade agreement text, but they are indeed keeping the pressure up on introduction of data exclusivity in India using the trade talks. MSF urges the EU to keep to its commitment of keeping the demand of data exclusivity out of any kind bilateral trade talks with India.
As an organisation that sources 80% of its HIV treatment medicines from India, MSF is also concerned at the intellectual property enforcement provision and investment mandate that remain. These provisions could have a 'chilling' effect on the ability of Indian generic manufacturers to produce the medicines millions need to stay alive. The EU is pushing measures that could result in seizures of legitimately produced drugs; in third parties - such as treatment providers like MSF - being embroiled in court cases; and the Indian government being secretly sued for millions of dollars."