EU Offers and World Medication Tragedy

India has earned a fame because the “pharmacy of the world” by producing generic medication at reasonably priced costs, making them accessible to growing nations and world establishments. Its thriving generic trade has been a big consider worldwide healthcare, significantly in Africa, the place it accounted for a fifth of the continent’s drug imports in 2018. Nonetheless, because the European Union (EU) conducts free commerce negotiations with India and different generic drug-producing nations equivalent to Indonesia, the EU’s stricter industrial and copyright safety might jeopardise the provision and affordability of generic medicines within the World South.

The position of reasonably priced generic medicines in world well being

Inexpensive generic medication have performed a vital position in enhancing world well being, a outstanding instance being the HIV and AIDS pandemic. India’s provide of low cost generic medication has helped cut back the price of HIV remedy from greater than $10,000 to lower than $100 a 12 months, saving numerous lives. The success of India’s generic drug trade was made doable as a result of these medication had been developed earlier than implementing the 1995 World Commerce Group (WTO) Settlement on Commerce-Associated Points of Mental Property Rights (TRIPS).

Impression of TRIPS on entry to drugs

The aim of the TRIPS settlement was to advertise innovation and social advantages for all. Nonetheless, this tipped the stability in favour of the pharmaceutical trade’s industrial pursuits on the expense of the provision of reasonably priced medicines. To rework well being care, equivalent to growing long-term HIV prevention and remedy medication, these medication have to be extensively accessible and cheaply by way of large-scale generic manufacturing.

Challenges in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has additional highlighted the bounds of mental property rights, regardless of calls from India and South Africa to quickly waive some TRIPS obligations on COVID-19 medication, wealthy nations, together with the EU, blocked the proposal after intense lobbying by the pharmaceutical trade.

EU Seismic Reform Bundle

The European Fee has acknowledged the potential hurt attributable to overly restrictive mental property rights and has proposed a complete reform bundle for medicines and mental property provisions.

(Picture Supply: Reuters)

These reforms sought a stability between safety and entry to medicines in Europe. Nonetheless, in commerce agreements, the EU continued to demand disproportionately strict safety of mental property rights, which exceeded TRIPS necessities.

The catastrophic penalties of TRIPS-Plus measures

Proposals equivalent to TRIPS-plus measures can significantly have an effect on entry to medicines in growing nations. For instance, information exclusivity delays the provision of cheaper generic alternate options, burdens public well being methods, and will increase prices. A number of nations, together with Jordan and Guatemala, have confronted difficulties in acquiring reasonably priced medicines because of the TRIPS-plus provisions of commerce agreements with the US.

Condemnation by human rights specialists

Human rights specialists, together with the UN Particular Rapporteur on the appropriate to well being, have condemned the TRIPS-plus measures. They argue that developed nations mustn’t use such actions to stress growing nations into commerce agreements as a result of they violate the appropriate to well being and restrict governments’ insurance policies to guard their residents’ well-being.

Wants a change

The European Parliament acknowledged the significance of medicines as world public items and known as on the Fee to exclude TRIPS-plus necessities from commerce negotiations. A continued provide of reasonably priced generic medication is crucial to world well being, together with stopping future pandemics. The EU ought to abandon the TRIPS-plus proposals and keep away from them in future negotiations with growing nations.


Availability and affordability of generic medicines are crucial for world well being promotion and entry to life-saving remedy. India’s position because the “pharmacy of the world” has diminished healthcare prices and saved lives. Nonetheless, the tightening of EU mental property rights in commerce negotiations with India and different generic-producing nations poses a big risk to the provision of reasonably priced medicines within the World South. To place world well being forward of enterprise pursuits, the EU ought to reject the TRIPS-plus proposals and concentrate on guaranteeing that generic medication stay a lifeline for growing nations.