World Trade Organization

Medicines free of charge are not asking for all the World; only that the poor do not have to pay more than the cost price, to be the citizens of rich countries who pay the economic benefits that aim to the shareholders of these companies in exchange for the 2 billion people who have no access to medicines to treat their illnesses. Thanks to the pressure exerted by civil society, competition from generic drugs and handed down judgments in some emerging countries that seek to ensure the realization of the right to health, the pharmaceutical industry has begun to yield. In the year 2003, in Doha, the World Trade Organization (WTO) admitted the right of a country to bypass the patent of a drug, which belongs to the company that discovers it for 20 years, in the case of humanitarian emergency. Since then, countries such as Brazil and India have not respected the patenting of drugs whose price was very high and the claims brought against them by Merck and Novartis have won in the courts. Treatments against AIDS, than in the North cost 8,000 euros a year, can be found in these countries to less than 300 thanks to judicial victory and the use of generics. This, in turn, has forced pharmaceutical companies to reduce prices. The laws of the market have been forced to sell them at cost price.

People’s health is beating the economic benefit of a few. Prices fall before the pressure exerted by those who claim the right to health that has every human being, by rich or poor that is. This right, recognized in the Universal Declaration of human rights, follows from the right to life. Small victories of civil society, which are being achieved in the field of health, we encourage to continue in our efforts to denounce injustice.