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[e-drug] MSF in EU Parliament on Access to Medicines, TRIPS/India

E-DRUG: MSF in EU Parliament on Access to Medicines, TRIPS/India

The full text of MSF's intervention during last week's hearing organised by
the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament on TRIPS and
Access to medicines is available at:

The program of the hearing is available at:

and the report of the hearing prepared by the Press service of the EP is
available at:

This hearing was organised in the context of the revision of the EU
Commission's proposal for Compulsory license for export in the EU
(implementation of the WTO August 30 solution to the para 6 of the Doha
declaration). The EP and the EU Council (member states) will both review the
proposal. The whole procedure will take months to be completed...

The representative of Commission (Mr. Ravilard) made an intervention during
the debates on the potential use in India of their implementation of the WTO
solution to continue producing generic medicines. Below a few clarifications
on their statement, following a request we made:

"... the objective of the WTO Decision of 30 August 2003 was precisely to
allow countries like India to (continue to) produce and export medicines to
poor countries under compulsory licence. The difference with the past
situation (when medicines were manufactured and exported freely) is that Indian 
companies will need compulsory licences. I also explained that there was no 
reason to believe that pharmaceutical companies in India would stop producing 
generics for poor countries while, as was said by Mr. Haddad, it has been their 
business for decades"

We have no problem with the letter from the WHO to the Indian Minister for
Health asking the Indian Government not to adopt "unnecessary restrictions
that are not required under the TRIPs Agreement": it is fully in line with
the EC policy."

The positive thing about these explanations is that the Commission used to
say that CL should be used only in rare circumstances while now they seem to
embrace it as routine measure in India. Interesting and important change of


Seco Gerard
MSF Access Campaign EU Liaison Officer
C/O MSF Belgium
Rue Dupre 94
1090 Brussels
Direct number: +32 2 474 75 09
Fax number: +32 2 474 75 75
Mobile number: +32 479 514 900

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