Times of India
16 September 2010
By Rema Nagarajan
Anew study published on Tuesday has established that Indian generic manufacturers supplied more than 80% of donor–funded AIDS medicines to developing countries in the last seven years,confirming India’s status as the pharmacy of the Third World.
The study – ‘A lifeline to treatment: the role of Indian generic manufacturers in supplying antiretroviral medicines to developing countries’ – was done by UNITAID, a facility for purchase of drugs against HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB founded in 2006, Boston School of Medicine and Center for International Development, Harvard.
‘Free trade pacts may hit low–cost generic drugs’
According to the study conducted by UNITAID, in 2008, India–produced generics accounted for 91% of paediatric anti–retroviral (ARV) volume. AIDS treatment has experienced startling progress over recent years, with about four million people starting treatment between 2003 and 2008, largely due to India’s ability to produce low–cost quality medicines, said a UNITAID statement.
At the same time, the study expressed concern that the legal framework in India that facilitated such production, was changing with implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on Trade–Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
It also expressed concern over intellectual property measures beyond TRIPS being negotiated in regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the FTAs with the European Union and Japan, which could create IP obligations for India that could cause price rise and delay access to newer and better ARVs.
"Indian manufacturers of generic antiretroviral (ARV) medicines facilitated the rapid scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment in developing countries though provision of low–priced, quality–assured medicines," observed the study.
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