Resource Logo
CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

INDIA: Free-Trade Proposal May Affect Supply of AIDS Drugs


Washington Post (02.11.12) - Monday, February 13, 2012

India's production and export of low-cost HIV drugs to developing countries could scale back significantly if a far- reaching free-trade agreement between India and the European Union goes through, health activists demonstrating Friday in New Delhi.

India is known as the "pharmacy of the developing world" thanks to its thriving generic drug industry. Some 80 percent of HIV drugs distributed by governments and aid organizations in poor nations come from India.

Activists who reviewed a leaked version of the proposed agreement say it calls for stricter enforcement of intellectual property rights. "There are clauses in the negotiations that will have a chilling effect on the production and use of affordable generic HIV medicines," said Leena Menghaney, a Doctors Without Borders representative in India. "These medicines will be stopped at Indian ports and European transit ports on mere allegations of patent violation." But David Lipman, EU ambassador to Thailand, disputed that claim, saying "nothing in the proposed agreement would limit India's freedom to produce and export medicines." The proposal, if approved, would be the world's largest free- trade pact, covering roughly 1.7 billion people. The United States does not have an agreement with India, though the two nations have discussed entering into one. The cost of first- line HIV drugs has dropped from $10,000 per year per patient in 2000 to about $150 because of India's production.


Copyright © 2012 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in February 13, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.