Access to generic medicine to continue with ‘death’ of ACTA

The European Parliament has rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Four hundred seventy-eight members of the Parliament voted against ACTA. Photo by: © European Union 2012 - European Parliament / CC BY-NC-ND

The European Parliament has rejected the contentious Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in a move lauded by nongovernmental organizations championing global access to generic medicines.

A majority of European Parliament members – 478 out of 682 – voted July 4 (Wednesday) against ratifying ACTA. With this vote, no EU member state is allowed to join the agreement.

Oxfam International said the vote effectively scraps ACTA, which aims to establish a legal framework against counterfeit goods, despite the agreement having the support of countries such as Australia, Canada, South Korea and the United States.

Europe’s decision is a “victory for poor people over the interest of big pharmaceutical companies,” Oxfam said. Some provisions of ACTA would have made life-saving medicines too expensive for the world’s poor, the group explained.

Médecins Sans Frontières, another proponent of access to affordable generic medicines, also welcomed the European Parliament’s vote. It urged the European Commission to now review other “harmful intellectual property provisions” included in other trade agreements.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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