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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

EU-EAC EPA could threaten Kenyan HIV drug import

Kenya’s pending signature of a trade deal with the European Union (EU) could block the importation of generic drugs from India, threatening the lives of a third of 1 million people on life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs.

A panel of health and gender experts appointed by the African Union (AU), who visited Kenya this week to investigate the status of people living with HIV, said the parallel importation of the anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs could be threatened in Kenya.

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, appointed the expert committee to undertake the review visit to Kenya to engage the government and the civil society in talks on the status of people living with HIV.

The experts said apart from the pending signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Commission, the passing of an anti-counterfeit law in Kenya, was likely to block the importation of the generic drugs into Kenya. […]

HIV activists say the anti-counterfeit law could ban the importation of generic drugs, mostly from India, whose pharmaceutical firm, Cipla, has been against the definition of anti-counterfeit legislation, which it says is an agenda by powerful western firms.

Source: Coastweek