Africa’s Aids patients biggest losers if India/EU drugs deal sails through reports The East African

04 March 2011

Jimmy Gideyi has been on free antiretroviral generic drugs manufactured in India since 2004, when he was confirmed HIV positive. In the past decade, the 56-year-old man has received a constant supply of the drugs, which are almost 10 times cheaper than branded ones, thanks to the humanitarian organisation, MSF (Doctors Without Borders).

However, Gideyi, like other HIV positive patients in East Africa, fears all that might come to an end, if the controversial Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and India goes through.

"I pray the trade talks fail as HIV/Aids patients in poor countries will be the biggest losers. Getting cheap drugs will be very difficult," he says.

The agreement, expected to be finalised mid this year, has sparked fury among human rights activists who accuse the EU of scheming to elbow out developing countries producing generic drugs.

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Article by JEFF OTIENO for The East African

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