The Citizen/ Examines Potential Impact Of EU-India Free Trade Agreement On HIV/AIDS Patients In Developing Countries

The Citizen/ examines the potential impact a free-trade agreement between the EU and India currently under negotiation could have on patients living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

The article notes the concerns by some that provisions within the EU-India trade agreement relating to intellectual property (IP) and data exclusivity would result in a restriction of generic drug production, compromising access to low-cost generic drugs, such as antiretrovirals (ARVs).

“[M]illions of AIDS patients in the developing world depend on India for generic medicines at affordable costs,” Joe Muriuki, the coordinator for Network of African People Living with HIV in East African Region, said Sunday, according to the news service.

“Available records show that 92 percent of people living with HIV on treatment in low- and middle-income countries currently use generic antiretroviral (ARVs), mostly manufactured in India,” the Citizen/ writes. According to the article, generic drugs accounted for 90 percent of the ARVs purchased by PEPFAR and 80 percent of the ARVs purchased by Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF).

The article looks at how the cost associated with treating patients living with HIV/AIDS could rise if access to such drugs was scaled back and includes quotes from Tanzanian Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Deo Mtasiwa and Arusha Urban MP Godbless Lema (Ihucha, 12/20).