EU hands off our medicinesDECEMBER 2010:
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has contacted Nick Griffin over its concerns about new trade agreements which will have a detrimental effect on access to medicines.
This is what the organisation told the MEP for the North West of England:
"Millions of people in developing countries rely on affordable generic medicines produced in countries like India to stay alive.
"MSF relies very heavily on these medicines to treat diseases such as TB, malaria and other common infectious diseases.
"MSF is concerned that the European Commission's trade policies that will severely restrict people’s access to these life-saving medicines.
"This attack is taking a number of different forms – free trade agreements, international treaties, customs regulations. "For this reason has recently launched a campaign called 'EU Hands Off our Medicines', to ask the Commission to drop the damaging provisions it is negotiating in a number of international agreements, like the EU-India FTA and ACTA."
Responding to Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) on behalf of Nick Griffin MEP, Constituency Office manager Tina Wingfield wrote:
"Mr Griffin notes your concerns that the provisions in the Trade Agreements under discussion could detrimentally affect the production, registration, transportation and exportation of generic medicines and thus seriously impede generic medicines producers in India from delivering more affordable and quality generic versions of medicines for people in developing countries.
In particular, he appreciates your concerns regarding the EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the danger that the requirement for data exclusivity could (where no patent is granted under Indian law and thus no compulsory licence gained to lift data exclusivity) create a monopoly that blocks generic producers. It is imperative to ensure that unnecessary and excessive European Union bureaucracy does not interfere with or impede the effective delivery of medical care to people outside of the European Single Market.
He agrees that the scope of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is too broad and that the proposed new enforcement measures are draconian. Moreover, the disturbing scarcity of information about this agreement and a total lack of transparency in the negotiation process renders informed consultation impossible and undermines democratic debate.
Until and unless these concerns are addressed, Mr Griffin will oppose these Agreements."