03 March 2011
The protests coincided with ‘sensitive’ negotiations between India and the 27-member EU in Brussels on a market-opening pact that has been under discussion since 2007. Among the provisions of the proposed trade deal is ‘data exclusivity’ that would act like a patent and block several affordable India-made generic drugs from the market.
These drugs have brought down the average annual cost of HIV treatment from $10,000 per patient in 2000 to $70 in 2010. ‘We don’t want to go back in time to when our friends and loved ones died because they couldn’t afford the medicines they needed,’ said Rajiv Kafle of Nepal, an activist of the Asia Pacific Network of Positive People