India's World Trade Organization Compliance Threatens AIDS Drugs: Protestors
August 16, 2006
On Tuesday, a protest at the 16th International AIDS Conference decried India's compliance with World Trade Organization drug patent rules, which activists said could leave the country short of HIV drugs. Nearly 100 protestors paraded through the Toronto convention center, shouting "Life before profit" and "Big pharma quit India." Before a January 2005 law passed to comply with WTO rules, Indian firms could make cheaper versions of patented drugs, since patent laws protected the manufacturing process rather than the medicines themselves. When India signed the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Act in 1994, WTO gave it a decade to change its patent laws. Anjali Gopalan of the New Delhi-based NAZ Foundation asked the Indian government to reverse the law, saying it could invoke a clause in the WTO agreement allowing it to subvert compliance in a health emergency.
Agence France Presse
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