Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Thailand NGOs flex muscles over FTAs

กลุ่มศึกษาข้อตกลงเขตการค้าเสรีภาคประชาชน logoThere is a healthy level of NGO activism in Thailand advocating public interest over IPRs. A variety of groups have been active lobbying the Thai government over the EU-Thai FTA. Their concerns centre around matters such as preventing patents from obstructing access to medicines in Thailand, especially HIV anti-retrovirals.
Now this group have expanded their focus elsewhere. In an open letter to India's government, a coalition of 18 Thai health care related NGOs led by FTA Watch, have objected to India signing an FTA with the EU. Specifically they say that almost all HIV/AIDS patients in low and middle income countries use generic antiretroviral drugs from India and that the Thai government's health authorities need to maintain a continuous supply of Indian generic medicines. They argue that an Indian-EU FTA could threaten this because it contains TRIPS+ provisions such as patent term extensions, data exclusivity, strengthened enforcement and Border measures.

IP Komodo notes that the public interest movement is already strong in India and expects that India will not accede to provisions that harm its generics industry. But it is interesting how Asian IP lobbying is changing.


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