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IBSA News, Sep 19 2011
India’s generic drugs are a lifeline not only for millions of poor people in India, but also to developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. So much so that India is known as the ‘pharmacy to the developing world’.
But India, which built up its pharmaceutical industry by ignoring patents for decades, was forced to adhere to World Trade Organisation (WTO) intellectual property regulations in 2005. It is also now busily signing various bilateral trade deals with Western countries, seriously threatening the world’s supply of cheap, essential drugs.
Leena Menghaney a lawyer with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in India says the worst affected are likely to be people on anti-retroviral drugs, since about 80 percent of the world’s anti-AIDS drugs and 92 percent of drugs for children with AIDS comes from India.
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