EU blocks generics for Third World countries

Home/Policies & Legislation | Posted 23/11/2009 post-comment0 Post your comment

Because of their behaviour against alleged patent infringements by Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to the German Financial Times (FTD) the EU gets pressurised.

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Several customs authorities, among them authorities in Germany and The Netherlands, seized several generics deliveries during the past months that had been produced in India and were meant for other developing countries. The suspicion existed that these medicines would hurt EU patients, was given as a reason. However, according to legal experts, the EU provisions in Third World countries producing ‘me too’ products infringe the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

India’s WTO representative, Mr Rati Bengar, also said that the authorities would not have been allowed to hinder the transit, because the generics were not intended for the EU market, but for other countries in South America and the like. India now threatens the EU with a suit at the WTO if she does not suppress this practice.

At the EU Committee they rate the legal position of the incident differently. A spokesman for Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton said that they knew cases in which generics in transit had been seized temporarily. “According to EU Law, this is allowed—also in accordance with WTO rules—if a suspicion exists that the goods violate intellectual property rights or are even counterfeit or dangerous,” said the spokesman.

India and the EU now probably want to reach an agreement via negotiations. This way they would try to prevent a long WTO process, both sides said.

References:
Generika für Drittstaaten: EU-Zoll blockiert. Pharmazeutische Zeitung PZ-Nachrichten. 07.08.2009.
EU blockiert Arzneimittel für Dritte Welt. Financial Times Deutschland. 2009 Aug 07.

Source: Pharmazeutische Zeitung PZ-Nachrichten; Financial Times Deutschland

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