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February 7, 2012

Act Up-Paris on pharmaceutical data exclusivity, ACTA

Please find below Act Up-Paris question to Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for trade during a European Commission Civil society dialogue meeting* on trade, growth and development, that took place today in Brussels. 

* there was more industry representative than NGOs in the room.

Best, Pauline

"Mr De Gucht.

I represent Act Up-Paris, an organisation of people living with HIV based in France. But today, I bring you a message from hundreds of groups worldwide that have signed a call of action to denounce the European Commission's deadly trade policy. For four years you have negotiated a bilateral agreement with India, for three years you negotiated ACTA in a total lack of transparency.
You have repeatedly stated that these agreements will will not affect affordable medicines.

Starting on Friday, you will represent E.C during a summit in India.

How can you claim that data exclusivity will not have an impact when the European Parliament itself has asked that this provision not be put in an FTA with developing countries?

How can you state that ACTA and the enforcement provisions in the EU-India FTA will not affect medicines when european customs authorities continue to seize generic medicines in transit, like it happened again last November?

How can you ask India to implement TRIPS-plus provisions and state these will not affect access to medicines when the United Nations, the WHO, UNITAID, the Global Fund, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health have all condemned these provisions for affected treatment?

The statements of the European Commission have always been vague and aiming at confusing the citizens of Europe and millions of people in need to treatment worldwide. But they are not fooling anyone.

The European Commission speaks only for the profits of a few companies and not for the lives of millions across the world. Your FTA only aims at strengthening pharmaceutical companies monopolies. While the consequences for firms will be more profits, in the real world many people will die because they will not have access to treatments because of their price.

Across Asia, Latin America and Africa protests against the European Union are taking place. Yesterday in London, last Friday in Nepal, AIDS activists asked you to stop this policy that will take peoples lives.

We ask you to stop this deadly trade policy." 

Pauline Londeix