Business Day, 02 December 2002, EU head pledges help on generic medicines
EUROPEAN Union (EU)
trade commissioner Pascal Lamy has pledged that
"I have a policy objective to have this problem resolved by the end of this year," he said in an interview yesterday.
The EU is one of the key players in global trade. Its backing is vital for the envisaged deal to allow developing nations to bypass patent laws in gaining access to vitally needed medicines.
Lamy was speaking in
He said more funds had
to be found to finance research for a cure and a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. He also
said that there had also to be a deal at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by
the end of this month to make medicines more affordable in the developing world.
WTO trade ministers came close to a final deal at an informal meeting in
Lamy said the EU was
in a "brokering position" between the
"The problem is
an urgent one it's a question of stabilising the research efforts of the
pharmaceutical industry, as it needs predictability and stability. On the other
side, given the urgency of epidemics in many countries, and especially here in
Lamy held private
talks at the weekend with SA Trade and Industry Minister Alec Erwin, in which
the issue of securing cheap medicines for developing nations was discussed. He
said he would expect a deal in
However, he said a WTO deal would require safeguards to prevent generic drugs which are made in the developing world from being diverted to developed countries.He also rejected criticism that the EU was dragging its feet on agriculture in the current