At a time when the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union are preparing to resume negotiations on the “comprehensive and thorough free trade agreement” (FTAA), Moroccan civil society unites to bell Alarm about ALECA’s danger of access to generics in our country. A collective for the preservation of the right to health in Morocco in the framework of the negotiations of the ALECA (Comprehensive and ample free trade agreement between Morocco and the EU) has been created by civil society to coordinate advocacy efforts.
The European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco will enter the 5th round of negotiations on the ALECA in 2016 after Morocco finalizes an impact study on the sectors covered. While civil society has been calling for transparent processes and consultation with civil society since the start of the negotiations in 2013, this impact assessment has not been associated with or shared with community actors, particularly those involved in access Health and medicines and does not address the consequences of this agreement on public health and access to medicines. However, the EU’s requirements under the ALECA include clauses requiring the protection of intellectual property by the intellectual property system beyond international standards, which will impede access to generics in Morocco, to the detriment of The health of Moroccan patients. Indeed, several provisions of the ALECA go beyond the international standards provided by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which allow all countries to use flexibilities to protect public health interests Including generic versions of medicines.
As a middle-income country, Morocco is already in a difficult position to access medicines at affordable prices, almost systematically excluded from licenses granted by pharmaceutical multinationals, allowing access to generic versions of medicines. However, our economy is unable to bear the costs of brand-name drugs at prices set by major European and American laboratories, particularly in areas where treatment is as costly as HIV / AIDS, hepatitis C, Cancer or other chronic diseases. The ALECA is therefore a two-tiered agreement aimed at protecting European investments and serving the interests of large pharmaceutical multinationals, while Morocco has an interest in protecting the mechanisms authorized by International trade to guarantee Moroccan patients affordable medicines.
In the context of the imminent resumption of negotiations, several Moroccan health and human rights organizations have decided to meet in a coalition to demand the integration of Moroccan associations into the negotiating process while considering it unacceptable that an agreement that will have repercussions On all sectors of Moroccan society be negotiated in total opacity. The signatories call for:
* A national debate on the national system for the protection of intellectual property and access to medicines,
* A review of national intellectual property protection legislation and the elimination of all clauses that go beyond the requirements of the WTO
* The withdrawal of any provisions relating to intellectual and industrial property in the agreement under negotiation which go beyond what is required under the TRIPS agreements.
At a time when the Ministry of Health claims to want to carry out a policy of access to medicines based on generics, and that the Moroccan constitution proclaims in Article 31 that the State is working to mobilize all means to Facilitating access to health care, the signatories formally ask it to open a consultation with civil society and experts in order to ensure that the interests of Moroccans are taken into account as well as possible.
The Collective for the Preservation of the Right to Health in Morocco:
* Adala Justice,
* Collective Right to Health,
* Confederation of Democratic Labor,
* National Federation of Amazigh Associations,
* Forum of Alternatives Morocco,
* ITPC MENA,
* Euromed Morocco network of NGOs.