29 janvier 2010 5 29 /01 /janvier /2010 08:14
Under the presidency of Labour MEP David Martin and with the sponsorship of Medicin sans frontiere, for the first time the European Parliament will have an active and visible working group that promotes access to medicine globally. Important parliamentarians from all major political groups were present at the opening. A wide range of NGOs and the European Commission also attended.
In his introduction the chair of the new working group David Martin criticised EU policy with regards to the negotiation of Free Trade Agreements that impose limitations on the access to generic drugs and contructs barriers to the transfer of medical knowledge and technology. He was especially critical of the new proposed agreement between the EU and India that could have far reaching consequences considering India´s leading role in the generic medicine market worldwide.
This working group will be made up of parliamentarians and representatives of NGOs. It will meet periodically to study and influence both the legislative and trade agenda of the European Union.
At the inauguration of the working group that was attended by over 100 people the representative of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) took the floor and expressed the support for the aims of the working group while stating that "the EU must cease the contradiction of a rhetoric that supports lofty global health objectives while at the same time defending big pharma industry positions within international institutions such as the World Health Organisation. It seems that the left hand of the European Commission, health and development, does not know what the right hand, the EU trade and commercial agenda, is doing. An open debate over a fair and coherent intellectual property policy is urgently needed."