YAKAWLANG, BAMIYAN PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 16, 2003. The MSf team prepare to leave the compound in Yakawlang to drive to the Dagah clinic, an hour drive away. MSf has been operating in Afghanistan for over 20 years. The main challenge to provide healthcare in the remote part of the country is isolation and security.
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A House subcommittee held a hearing on international trade disputes with India. Most of the event was devoted to U.S. drug company Pfizer's complaints about Indian policies that have fostered the country's billion-dollar generics industry.
Novartis AG goes to India's Supreme Court on Wednesday to seek patent protection for its blockbuster cancer drug Glivec in a case that could deliver far-reaching ramifications for multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in India.... Novartis's critics, including Médecins Sans Frontières [Doctors Without Borders], say that if the company prevails, it could set a legal precedent that allows pharmaceutical giants to patent a range of drugs in India that are now available from generic producers, including HIV medicines. That would demolish a thriving low-cost industry and lead to higher prices, not just in India, they say, but elsewhere in the developing world where India is a major exporter of drugs.
Hundreds of people marched in New Delhi on Friday to protest an ambitious free-trade agreement being negotiated between India and the European Union that patient groups and health activists say could severely curtail India's production and export of affordable drugs for millions living with HIV in developing countries.
A four-year test of drugs to treat a widespread parasitic disease called kala azar is announced by the governments of India and Bangladesh, Doctors Without Borders, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and other groups
Are the European Union and its multinational pharmaceutical companies now pressuring the Indian prime minister's office? In recent months, as negotiators from India and Europe have been thrashing out the details of a free trade agreement to be signed within months, people living with HIV have been hitting the streets. From New Delhi to Nairobi and Brussels to Bangkok, they have been protesting against the very real threat posed to India's ability to supply life-saving generic medicines to people across the developing world.
Not a week seems to go by without the West -- governments, pharmaceutical giants and the business press -- crying foul over India's handling of intellectual property. As a doctor, speaking from a medical humanitarian perspective, the case for a defense of India is clear: competition between multiple manufacturers allows for lower prices and greater access to lifesaving medicines.