Letter to EC on Netherlands Customs Seizure
In December 2008 Dutch customs officials seized a shipment of the generic pharmaceutical product Losartan - used to treat high blood pressure - manufactured by an Indian generic company and in transit to Brazil.
The product is patented in the Netherlands but off patent in Brazil and India. The company holding the original patent for the drug was allegedly behind the seizure.
Brazilian and Indian government officials have reacted angrily to the news saying that measures of this nature have a highly negative systemic impact on the legitimate trade of generic medicines.
MSF is also very concerned about the implications of this seizure within the EU that might have an impact on products needed by MSF for its own operations and has therefore written to European Commissioners and European parliamentarians to ask for clarification of EU regulations regarding pharmaceutical products.