On April 1, 2013, a landmark ruling by India's Supreme Court ensured continued access to affordable HIV medication for the millions affected by this disease, including the 220,000 patients that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats with generic HIV/AIDS medication. This access has been under threat for the past seven years by pharmaceutical company Novartis, which challenged a section of India's Patents Act that prevented the practice of "evergreening," or extending the patent of an existing medicine by modifying it slightly. By extending patents, pharmaceutical companies prevent the manufacture of generic drugs. The ruling by India's Supreme Court is a victory for those fighting for access to affordable medicine—at least, for the time being.
On March 2, 2011 MSF joined 3,000 people living with HIV to protest in the streets of New Delhi, India against provisions in the European Union - India Free Trade Agreement that could threaten the supply of affordable medicines across the developing world.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff and supporters rallied outside the offices of the European Commission on November 8, before delivering an open letter of protest against ongoing trade talks between the European Union and India that could damage access to affordable medicines. The provisions in the free trade agreement under discussion could seriously impede generic medicines producers in India from delivering more affordable and quality generic versions of medicines for people in developing countries. MSF itself could not carry out much of its medical humanitarian work without access to these drugs. Support MSF's campaign 'Europe! Hands Off Our Medicine!'
Patient and other voices from MSF's Mathare AIDS clinic in Kenya about how they rely on affordable generic antiretrovirals produced in India for their survival. Learn more about the impact the EU-India Free Trade Agreement. Join our “EUROPE! Hands off our medicine” campaign & tell Europe to stop pushing policies that will deny medicine to millions of patients in the developing world.