Brazil, India take EU to WTO over generic drug seizures

12th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Brazil and India said Wednesday that they have filed separate complaints against the European Union at the World Trade Organization over the seizure of generic medicines.

"Brazil filed today under the WTO dispute mechanism a request for consultation with the EU and the Netherlands concerning the seizure of generic medicines in transit," the Brazilian WTO mission said a statement.

Brazil's ambassador Roberto Azevedo claimed that the seizures "have a highly negative systemic impact on legitimate commerce, on south-south trade and national health in the developing countries."

Indian ambassador Ujal Bhatia Singh also said that India had filed a separate complaint over the EU seizures of Indian generic drugs.

"They (the drugs) are perfectly legitimate under WTO rules. Most of these seizures took place in the Netherlands," the Indian diplomat said.

EU authorities have cited patent issues in the seizures of Indian generic drugs.

Last November, India warned a key WTO panel dealing with intellectual property issues that repeated seizures would hurt legitimate trade of generic drugs and universal access to medicines in developing nations.

It accused the European Union of violating WTO norms by confiscating generic drugs made by Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Singh said Wednesday that two seizures of Indian drugs were carried out in 2009 -- in Frankfurt in May and in Paris in October.

© 2010 AFP

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