India produces cheap HIV, malaria and cancer drugs, but American drug companies want to stop this, to sell their own products at higher prices. Their fierce lobby has got the US to push their line hard, even threatening trade sanctions if India doesn’t change patent laws which put people before profits. Now pressure is rising, with talks set to begin on an India-US investment treaty.
Before Obama arrives, let’s build a million-strong call to protect India’s proud role as the pharmacy to the world’s poor, brief journalists covering his trip, then deliver our call with our own common sense trade plan developed by experts that protects access to medicine. Join now:
Pharma giants say India’s patent laws allow companies to undercut them, deterring them from investing in new medicines. But drug companies prioritise researching drugs for the rich, not the poor, and they often price their products sky high — a new hepatitis C treatment currently sells for $1000 per pill!
At a White House breakfast last October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Big Pharma CEOs to invest in affordable medicines, rather than play legal games to squeeze every drop from their existing patents. But he agreed to set up an Indo-US forum on drug patent laws, and published a draft intellectual property policy with concessions to encourage American companies to invest. If we work with great medical experts now, we could devise a groundbreaking alternative plan that protects the right to make medicines in India.
President Obama boldly faced down critics to expand health care in the US, and before he gets to India, let’s make this the moment he does the same for global medicine, agreeing to put the poorest patients’ lives before Big Pharma’s profits. Add your name now:
When a giant Swiss drug company sued the Indian government over affordable medicine for cancer patients, fifty thousand Avaazers in India and Switzerland spoke out against the move, and the case was thrown out of court. Now the world’s pharmacy faces a bigger threat and it’s time to take another stand.
- Let India make cheap drugs (Business Standard)
- India-US panel: Access to medicines may be under threat (Deccan Herald)http://www.deccanherald.com/content/450341/india-us-panel-access-medicines.html
- PM’s US Visit: Narendra Modi’s CEO diplomacy to soon set the cash register ringing (Economic Times)
- Investment treaty tops Obama’s agenda (Business Standard)
- Can Obama And Modi Settle The US-India Feud In The Pharmaceuticals Sector? (International Business Times)
- Ebola in West Africa is a wake-up call (Al Jazeera)
- Novartis loses landmark patent case in India (The Telegraph)