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HIV activists to protest outside Indian embassy

The organisers will be delivering a petition to the embassy urging India not to adopt new amendments that will limit affordable AIDS medications worldwide.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2006 00:09 IST

Activists, professionals and organisations involved in the HIV/AIDS campaign plan to hold a peaceful demonstration outside the Embassy of India on Saturday to protest the government's Drug Policy which is seen as putting global access to AIDS medication at risk.

The organisers will be delivering a petition to the embassy urging India not to adopt new amendments that will limit affordable AIDS medications worldwide.

"At this moment, the Indian government is considering adding Data Exclusivity provisions in an amendment to the Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act. These provisions would negatively affect India's ability to provide affordable generic drugs to millions of people around the world living with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and many more.

"As India is one of the largest global suppliers of low-cost medicines, without access to these generic drugs, millions of people in developing countries will die," the organisers said in a release ahead of the planned demonstration.

"Current Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights (TRIPs) regulations, part of World Trade Organization rules, do not include data exclusivity clauses and thus India is not obligated to impose data exclusivity laws."

The World Health Organization has additionally affirmed this view, yet pressure from the United States and multinational pharmaceutical companies to enact data exclusivity provisions is strong, it has been maintained.