UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe has warned against the inclusion of TRIPS-Plus provisions in the EU-India Free Trade Agreement that would jeopardize the continued manufacture and export of generic medicines. India currently produces the majority of antiretrovirals used in the developing world. “India should resist removing any flexibility because any trade agreement which could lead to India not being able to produce will be terrible for the rest of the world. Millions of people will die if India cannot produce and Africa will be the most affected.”
In response, India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma promised that India would not agree to periods of data exclusivity in the agreement:
“The Government of India reaffirms its full commitment to ensure that quality generic medicines, including antiretroviral drugs, are seamlessly available, and to make them available to all countries. India will also use the flexibilities allowed under TRIPS, including the use of compulsory licensing, to ensure that people living with HIV have access to all life-saving medicines.”
- UNAIDS Press Statement. “India’s Commerce Minister pledges continued availability of high quality generic drugs.” July 6, 2011.