terça-feira, março 22, 2005

Índia e os genéricos

Global health activists Monday stepped up pressure against a controversial Indian patents bill that would bar firms from producing cheap copies of brand name drugs, saying it threatened millions of people living with HIV-AIDS and cancer around the world. Groups representing those living with the diseases in Asia, Africa and Latin America demanded that the Indian parliament drastically change the bill.

"We are not against patents but we are against the Indian bill in its present form which goes beyond what is required under TRIPS," said Anand Grover, lawyer and convener of Affordable Medicines and Treatment Campaign, a non-governmental organisation. TRIPS is an agreement on intellectual property rights under the World Trade Organisation. These rights are agreed upon by member countries of the WTO. Grover said under TRIPS, developing countries such as India did not have to provide patent protection for new uses of known drugs, new dosages and formulations or combinations of known drugs.

"TRIPS and many previous Indian committees have said that patents apply to new molecules only. But our bill goes beyond this by increasing the scope of patentability even to new dosages, combinations and formulations of known drugs," Grover said. He said the bill in its present form would bar Indian firms from producing the "three-in-one" fixed dose combination of anti-retroviral drugs widely used to treat those living with HIV-AIDS in the developing world.

"Such wide patentability is clearly done to favour the multinational companies," said Ellen T'hoen of the France-based Medecins Sans Frontieres, one of the activists who attended a discussion on patents in Bombay, India's western economic hub where many big pharmaceutical companies are based.

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