MSF welcomes Indian government standing strong against EFTA trade deal’s harmful intellectual property provisions

Geneva/New Delhi, 15 February 2024 — In a welcome move today, the Indian Commerce Ministry confirmed its rejection of Switzerland’s demand for data exclusivity for medicines in the India-EFTA trade deal, and emphasised the importance of protecting the country’s generic drug production and supply. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Public Eye, and Delhi Network of Positive People yesterday issued a joint statement highlighting their concerns about the damaging intellectual property provisions that were being negotiated in the India-EFTA trade deal that could negatively impact access to affordable medicines for millions of people in India and around the world.

One of the key concerns was the proposal to introduce an additional IP barrier, data exclusivity, as it would delay the registration of generic versions of new medicines or new formulations for a set period, even when there is no patent on the medicine.

We welcome the Indian Commerce Ministry’s strong stand against the inclusion of data exclusivity in its trade talks with EFTA. We appeal to India to continue to reject all harmful intellectual property provisions in this and other trade deals that may limit India's supply of affordable generic medicines for millions of people in India and around the world.
Farhat Mantoo
Executive Director, MSF South Asia

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