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[e-drug] EP Resolution on S-Af (cont)

E-drug: EP Resolution on S-Af (cont)
---------------------------------------------
  Dear all,
 
     Please find below the definite version of the European Parliament's
     resolution on Access to Medicines and South Africa (and even though it says
     "provisional edition", it is the definite one) which was adopted on March
     15. Point 6 is the point that was presented as an amendment and finally
     included.
 
     HAVE YOU SIGN THE PETITION YET??? Please go to MSF's websites (www.msf.org
     or www.accessmed-msf.org) and fill your name on the petition asking the
     pharmaceutical companies to retrieve from the trial. Do ask all your
     colleagues, friends, neighbours,.. to do same. It will only take you a few
     minutes, and you know how important this is. Thank you for showing your
     support to the South African population!
 
     Seco
     Access Campaign EU Liaison Officer
     MSF, International Office, Brussels
 
Minutes of 15/03/2001 - Provisional Edition
 
Access to medicines for AIDS patients in the Third World
B5-0182/2001
 
European Parliament resolution on access to drugs for HIV/AIDS victims in the
Third World The European Parliament,
 
-  having regard to its previous resolutions on AIDS and sexually transmitted
diseases,
 
A.  whereas 95% of people infected with HIV live in the developing world,
including more than 25 million in sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world's most
infected regions,
 
B.  whereas over half of all new cases are amongst young people under 
the age of 25, who make up the most economically active part of the 
population, and each 15-year-old in South Africa has a 50% risk of 
becoming infected and dying from AIDS,
 
C.  whereas it is predicted that in South Africa, where 1 in 10 South Africans
are HIV positive, HIV/AIDS will reduce life expectancy by 20 years by 
2010, and whereas hundreds of thousands of South Africans die every 
year from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,
 
D.  whereas anti-retroviral drugs have already reduced the number of 
AIDS deaths in Europe and the USA by 75%, but the price of these 
drugs keeps these medicines out of reach of millions of infected 
people, notably in Africa,
 
E.  whereas the Commission's February 2001 Communication on a 
Programme of Actions to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis 
includes a commitment to tiered pricing where developing countries 
pay the lowest possible price for medicines, an acknowledgement of 
the possibility of exploring the best use of compulsory licensing 
systems and a commitment to launch a debate in the WTO on reconciling 
the TRIPS agreements with the objectives of health protection in 
developing countries,
 
F.  whereas Article 31 of the WTO/TRIPS Agreement permits a country 
to enact national laws permitting the use of a patented product 
without the authorisation of the patent-holder (compulsory licensing) 
under certain specified circumstances,
 
G.  whereas many drugs are unaffordable because of patents which allow the
companies a monopoly for 20 years from the date when the patent is filed,
 
H.  whereas the court case between 39 pharmaceutical companies and 
the South African Government over the terms of its 1997 Medicines Act 
has now been adjourned in order that the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers 
Association of South Africa can provide the information requested by 
Judge Ngoepe,
 
I.  whereas the Kenyan Government has announced its intention to 
implement a law that would allow it to obtain cheap life-saving 
medicines, under the provisions of the current TRIPS Agreement,
 
J.  whereas the US has taken legal action in the framework of the TRIPS
Agreement at the WTO against Brazil, which has shown that through 
improvements in its health care system, combined with the provision 
of generic medicines, it is possible to halve the mortality rate of 
people with AIDS, for allowing the national production of generic 
medicines,
 
K.  whereas the EU has asked the new US Administration to work with it on an
initiative to get anti-AIDS drugs to the developing world at prices it can
afford and this issue will be dealt with at the EU-US June Summit in Stockholm,
 
L.  whereas tropical diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and sleeping
sickness kill millions of people each year, particularly because of 
the increase
in resistance or the non-existence of treatments due to research having been
abandoned simply on grounds of commercial profitability,
 
1.  Calls for the development of a system allowing developing countries
equitable access to medicines and vaccines at affordable prices, while
expressing its solidarity and support for the Governments of South Africa and
Kenya in their struggle to use WTO-compliant legislation to gain access to the
cheapest possible life-saving medicines;
 
2.  In this context welcomes the statement by Commissioner Lamy that the
Commission supports the right of developing countries to use the safeguards in
the WTO/TRIPS Agreement, including compulsory licensing, and the 
commitment by the Commission to launch a debate in the WTO on 
reconciling the TRIPS Agreement with objectives regarding health 
protection in developing countries;
 
3.  Calls on the pharmaceutical companies that issued a legal challenge to the
South African 1997 Medicines Act to withdraw from the case;
 
4.  While respecting the intellectual property rights of the pharmaceutical
industry, calls on the Commission to strengthen the ability of developing
countries to resist the pressure to introduce more stringent patent laws than
those currently required under the WTO TRIPS Agreement;
 
5.  Calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to show 
international leadership in the struggle for life-saving medicines by 
encouraging technology transfer and support for the strengthening 
and/or development of local production capacity;
 
6.  Calls for the current review of the TRIPS Agreement to ensure that the
rights of developing countries to obtain the cheapest possible life-saving
medicines, whether patented or generic, are guaranteed, and further 
calls on all the interested parties to actively engage in this 
process;
 
7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the
Council, the WTO, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the OAU.
 
>>> Seco GERARD <Seco_GERARD@bi.msf.org> 03/19/01 03:10 >>>
 
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