Photograph of WTO in Geneva Photograph by Sophia Apostolia
Technical brief |

Damaging provisions for access to medicines in the UK-India FTA negotiation text

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Photograph by Sophia Apostolia

The free trade agreement (FTA) negotiation between the United Kingdom (UK) and India was formally launched in January 2022 and is progressing rapidly. On 31 October 2022, a draft proposal from the UK of the Chapter of Intellectual Property (IP chapter) of the UK-India FTA agreement was leaked. The provisions in the IP chapter go beyond the obligations enshrined in the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). If adopted, they could significantly affect a series of essential public health safeguards under the current Indian laws and impede the supply of more affordable generic lifesaving medicines in India and other developing countries. 

This fact sheet analyses the provisions in the draft text against the current Indian IP law, and calls on the Indian and UK governments to:

  • Increase transparency
  • Reject and withdraw the IP chapter
  • Keep previous commitment on access to medicines
  • Conduct health impact assessment