Home / News / India-EU generic drug row ‘resolved’ at Brussels summit

India-EU generic drug row ‘resolved’ at Brussels summit

India-EU generic drug row ‘resolved’ at Brussels summit

India and the EU may reach a free trade deal in the new year
India and the EU may reach a free trade deal in the new year

India-EU generic drug row ‘resolved’ at Brussels summit
A row between the EU and India over the transit of generic drugs through Europe has been resolved, negotiators told Reuters news agency.

As a result of the deal at an India-EU summit in Brussels, an Indian complaint to the World Trade Organization will be suspended, India’s trade minister said.

EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said the shape of a broad free trade agreement (FTA) had been agreed.

The pact, one of the world’s biggest, should be finalised in 2011, he added.

Details of the proposed FTA were not released but medical rights campaigners fear its provisions may undermine future supplies of cheap Indian generic drugs for HIV/Aids and other conditions.
‘Great breakthrough’

India and Brazil brought a case to the WTO in 2009, accusing the EU of wrongly stopping and inspecting shipments of generic drugs in transit.

Both Indian Trade and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and EU trade chief Karel De Gucht confirmed to Reuters on Friday that the transit dispute had been resolved.



“This is a great breakthrough which will of course lead to a suspension of WTO proceedings, so the dispute is over,” said Mr Sharma.

Mr De Gucht said: “I reconfirmed we are going to amend present regulation so as to put into practice what has been agreed.

“[Generic drug] transports in transit will no longer be checked, except for counterfeiting.”

The EU has still to negotiate with Brazil, Reuters adds.
‘Global openness’

In a joint statement, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Mr Barroso said they looked forward to a FTA being concluded in the spring.

In a separate statement, Mr Barroso said “very important progress” had been made towards a broad-based FTA.

Having agreed on its basic contours, the parties would work on “the final political push”, he said.

“This free trade zone will bring together markets of 1.5 billion people,” he said.

“It will be a key contribution to the global recovery and a signal for global openness and also a signal against protectionism,” Mr Barroso added.

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