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[e-drug] Green MEPs on the SA court case

E-drug: Green MEPs on the SA court case
  From  Ellen 't Hoen
  EHOEN@paris.msf.org (ellen t hoen)
PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, 5 March 2001
Stop drugs scandal, say Greens/EFA
       South Africa's drug industry case - branded immoral
      The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament is calling on the
      multinational pharmaceutical industry to withdraw its legal action
      against the South African government over the import of cheaper anti-AIDS
      drugs from the parallel market. In a landmark court case in Pretoria today
      on intellectual property rights in developing countries, the power and
      influence of the large pharmaceutical companies to will be put to the
      Paul Lannoye MEP, (Belgium) Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group,

      "At the point where the South African government has adopted a more
      enlightened policy on HIV and AIDS, the multinational pharmaceutical
      giants are seeking to prevent the government from doing so. By using the
      patents  right argument they seek to prohibit the importation and
      distribution of  cheaper drugs. It is a well established principle of
      international trade  law, included in the WTO Agreement on Trade Related
      Intellectual Property  (TRIPs), that in cases of national emergency, such
      patent rights can be set  aside by any country. Where 
generically equivalent
      but significantly cheaper drugs can be imported from the 
so-called 'parallel'
     market, it  is  simply immoral for the industry to take such legal action".
      Only last week, through the Gemelli Report on Community Development
      Policy,  did the European Parliament call for the granting of 
free licences for
      manufacturing and marketing appropriate medicines in cases of health
      emergencies. Following that debate, Dr. Didier-Claude Rod MEP
      (France),  commented:
      "This profoundly anti-social legal action shows how deep is the fault
      line  between the international patent regime and the real 
medical needs of
      people in fighting a scourge such as HIV/AIDS. The Brazilian and
      Indian governments have also been targeted in an attempt to close the
      market in cheaper alternative sources of such drugs".
For more information: Press Office of the Green/EFA Group
  Helmut Weixler: mobile phone: +32-475-67 13 40, phone: +32-2-284 46 83
      (Bxl), +33-3-8817 4760 (Stb), e-mail: hweixler@europarl.eu.int
      Eluned Haf: mobile phone: +32-497-48 02 55, phone: +32-2-284 1665
      (Bxl),  +33-3-8817 2936 (Stb), e.mail: ehaf@europarl.eu.int
      Isabelle Zerrouk: mobile phone: +32-477-31 94 74, phone: +32-2-284
      2742   (Bxl), +33-3-8817 4032(Stb), e-mail: izerrouk@europarl.eu.int
      FAX: +32-2-284 4944 (Brussels), +33-3-88 241 196 (Strasbourg)

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