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WTO and access to generics The Sydney swindle

11 - 19 - 2002

In spite of the commitments of Doha to find a solution to the issue of exportation of generics drugs from producing countries towards those which are unable to produce them, the developed countries are trying to force their way against the sick people of the South.

In Sydney today, the informal meeting of 24 WTO member States and the European Commission looks no less than a swindle :

Only a few States have been invited to this meeting while a majority of countries which are directly concerned by the issue have been put aside.

The WHO who was in favour of the propositions made by developing countries- advising the use of article 30 on TRIPS which says "limited exceptions to the exclusive rights of a licence" - has been deliberately excluded in the meeting.

The resolution defended by Pascal Lamy in the name of the EU, presented as a form of consensus is in total contradiction with the latest views of France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Parliament, all in favor of developing countries.

The strong opposition of some developing countries to the proposition of the European Commission in Sydney forbids to talk of any form of consensus whatsoever.

The solution offered at the end of the meeting is full of hurdles towards to access to generics : restriction to a certain categories of pathologies ; exlusion a priori of certain countries, importation dependent of the good will of the authorities of the producing countries to go beyond the license, possible exclusion of certain countries from the comprehensive scheme.

The Sydney meeting higlights the will of the States of the North to go back on their commitments taken in Doha a year ago.

The council on TRIPS due to meet on 25 /27 november 2002 must disown this tentative and at last give an appropriate answer to the needs of the sick in the developing countries.

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