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Africa: Continent's AIDS Patients Biggest Losers If India-EU Drugs Deal Sails Through

Author: Jeff Otieno, The East African [Kenya], Published on: 28 February 2011

The [Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and India], expected to be finalised mid this year, has sparked fury among human rights activists who accuse the EU of scheming to elbow out developing countries producing generic drugs...Demonstrations have been held in Nairobi, Brussels, Bangkok, New Delhi, Paris, Jakarta, Kathmandu and Manipur in North East India, all demanding the deal be abandoned. Top on the list of concerns is the "data exclusivity" clause, which humanitarian organisations argue if retained, monopolies on medicines could be extended and production of affordable, quality generic versions could be delayed for years..."Millions in the developing world depend on India for generic medicines at affordable costs. Restriction of generic drug production in India will have a devastating public health impact around the world and adversely affect the right to health of millions of patients," [UN Special Rapporteur, Anand Grover] warned.

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