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Thailand worried about India-EU free trade agreement

As informal talks have started between India and Europe on the free trade agreement (FTA) in New Delhi since Monday, apprehensions over provisions that could impact early access to generic medicines are being voiced in Thailand.

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Formal talks on the FTA would start in Brussels in April and India and EU have both expressed an explicit desire to sign the FTA by 2010. As informal talks have started between India and Europe on the free trade agreement (FTA) in New Delhi since Monday, apprehensions over provisions that could impact early access to generic medicines are being voiced in Thailand.

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India is a major supplier of key HIV/AIDS drugs such as efavirenz, and heat stable lopinavir/ritonavir to the National Health Security scheme of the Thai government, which ensures free access to treatment for all Thais.

Concerns expressed by Thais range from patent term extensions, data exclusivity, criminalisation of patents enforcement (see bullet points), said to be a part of the FTA, is heavily shrouded in secrecy, with the texts and content of the deal guarded from any parliamentary debate or discussion.

Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul, coordinator, health consumer protection programme, Chulalongkom University in Thailand said that India is the pharmacy of the developing world, particularly Thailand.

According to Amit Sengupta, general secretary, All India Peoples Science Network, “India agreed to grant patents to medicines by signing Trips. Now with this FTA, EU is trying to force India to adopt higher standards of intellectual property. India has a moral and legal right to say no.”

Formal talks on the FTA would start in Brussels in April and India and EU have both expressed an explicit desire to sign the FTA by 2010.

India is a major supplier of key HIV/AIDS drugs such as efavirenz, and heat stable lopinavir/ritonavir to the National Health Security scheme of the Thai government, which ensures free access to treatment for all Thais.

Concerns expressed by Thais range from patent term extensions, data exclusivity, criminalisation of patents enforcement (see bullet points), said to be a part of the FTA, is heavily shrouded in secrecy, with the texts and content of the deal guarded from any parliamentary debate or discussion.

Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul, coordinator, health consumer protection programme, Chulalongkom University in Thailand said that India is the pharmacy of the developing world, particularly Thailand.

Formal talks on the FTA would start in Brussels in April and India and EU have both expressed an explicit desire to sign the FTA by 2010.

India is a major supplier of key HIV/AIDS drugs such as efavirenz, and heat stable lopinavir/ritonavir to the National Health Security scheme of the Thai government, which ensures free access to treatment for all Thais.

Concerns expressed by Thais range from patent term extensions, data exclusivity, criminalisation of patents enforcement (see bullet points), said to be a part of the FTA, is heavily shrouded in secrecy, with the texts and content of the deal guarded from any parliamentary debate or discussion.

Kannikar Kijtiwatchakul, coordinator, health consumer protection programme, Chulalongkom University in Thailand said that India is the pharmacy of the developing world, particularly Thailand.

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