Young people from across the UK demonstrate outside the EU commission to demand health justice for all by ending trade attacks on access to medicines.
Dressed as members of the EU, campaigners demonstrate the secretive nature of these deals by hiding behind closed doors whilst others dressed as citizens of developing countries protest against the lack of transparency, demanding to be let in.
In a second stunt campaigners show how the rules within Free Trade Agreements, known as TRIPs Plus Provisions, are literally a ‘TRIP wire’ for developing countries trying to realise the right to health. People dressed as giant pills race towards a group of people suffering from life-threatening conditions and are stopped by two sneaky EU workers holding a trip wire.
The only reason we have an AIDS response is because of the production of affordable, generic drugs (that’s quality-assured, legal copies of more expensive brand name drugs). But they are under attack by new rules enforced through Free Trade Agreements. These rules, known as TRIPS Plus, protect pharmaceutical company’s profit making abilities but they are literally TRIPing up developing countries’ human right to health and human right to health care!
Not only do these FTAs contain harmful conditions attacking the supply of affordable medicines, they also happen in secret. Only the EU and big businesses, including big pharma, are able to see the details of the FTAs – ordinary people aren’t. If these agreements are made in the name of EU citizens their details must be open to public scrutiny and debate.
Saoirse Fitzpatrick, Coordinator of the Student Stop AIDS campaign has called for the public to support the campaign:
“Without generic, affordable medicines it would be impossible for people in the developing world to be treated for HIV, TB, Cancer and many other diseases as brand name drugs are too expensive. Health is a human right but without generic medicines it becomes a privilege that only the rich can afford. As members of the EU we have a responsibility to make sure that the trade deals we instigate do not interfere with this right to health and we are dedicated to challenging them if they do.”