07 July 2011
New Delhi, India
India has reaffirmed its commitment to produce the drugs for free treatments of HIV patients
India will not compromise on drug licensing norms and continue to produce generic drugs for free treatment to HIV positive patients, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.
"The government reaffirms its full commitment to ensure that quality generic medicines, including antiretroviral drugs, are seamlessly available," Sharma said at a meeting with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, reports IANS.
"To make them available to all countries, India will also use the flexibilities allowed under TRIPS (trade–related aspects of intellectual property rights) to ensure that people living with HIV have access to all life–saving medicines," Sharma added.
The commitment was welcomed by UNAIDS, which said this would benefit HIV positive people in African nations as well.
"Millions of people will die if India cannot produce generic antiretroviral drugs, and Africa will be the most affected. For me, it is an issue of life or death," Sidibe said.
With over 2.5 million HIV positive people in the country, the pharmaceutical industry produces more than 85 per cent of the first–line antiretroviral (ART) drugs used to treat people living with HIV.
"India, together with Brazil, South Africa, China and Russia, must forge an alliance with other high–income countries to ensure that no single person in the world dies because they could not afford to buy life–saving medicines or health care," Sidibe added.
Thursday, Jan 19th
Last update:05:44:44 AM IST