New Delhi: India today pledged to work closely with African nations on building a regulatory framework to make pharmaceuticals “accessible and affordable” without compromising with its quality, while asserting that AIDS can be ended by 2030 in both India and Africa.
India also said that for combating AIDS, it has taken a “comprehensive” survey of samples to check and detect sub-standard and spurious drugs and is strengthening the regulatory structures to ensure improvement in the quality of drugs.
Noting that commodity security for medicines is a “major” area of focus, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said India is committed to ensuring that the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities will be fully harnessed to provide sustained and uninterrupted access to the life-saving medicines.
TRIPS is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO members.
India is also committed to supplying quality and affordable drugs to treat HIV and extend all possible support and cooperation to Africa in fighting AIDS.
“India would work with the African Union on doing a regulatory harmonisation so that pharmaceuticals remain accessible and affordable and without compromising with quality.
“India would also support establishment of joint ventures in Africa to promote local manufacturing. We commit ourselves in encouraging this and ask companies to work closely with Africa in this direction and help in building technical and human capacities,” Nadda said.
He was speaking at a high-level event ‘Ensuring access to life-saving medicines to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030’ on the sidelines of the 3rd India Africa Forum Summit here.
Observing that health commodity security is “critical”, Nadda also said that India will take forward the recommendation of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to create a joint India-Africa cooperation framework on HIV.
Nadda said that in order to detect and check sub-standard and spurious drugs, India has undertaken a comprehensive survey in which 47,800 samples are being picked up from the retail shops, government hospitals, industries and manufacturing units. These are being tested in government labs and results will be available by close of the current year.
“We are also strengthening our regulatory structures including lab facilities to ensure improvement in the quality of drugs. The government has approved a scheme of USD 300 million for this particular purpose.