US-Morocco Free-Trade Agreement: Longer Monopolies, Shorter Lives

Act Up-Paris
January 28, 2004

For more than a year the United States has been pressuring Morocco to force it to accept a free-trade agreement the consequences of which will be particularly dramatic for its population. Today, Wednesday, January 28, at 7 p.m., the Moroccan Coalition organizes a protest sit-in in front of the Moroccan Parliament to defend the right to have health care and access to medicines (

At the WTO Doha conference in November 2001, all the Member States, including Morocco and the United States, committed themselves "to interpreting and implementing" the TRIPS Agreement "in a manner supportive of WTO members' right to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all." Yet, the United States is trying today to impose provisions on Morocco which aim at reinforcing the protection of intellectual property to a degree far beyond the standards which are mandated by the WTO. These new provisions run counter to the "TRIPS and Public Health" declaration of 2001.

According to American sources it is an established fact that the last draft of the agreement resulting from the sixth round of negotiations, which took place in December 2003, includes a number of provisions the impact of which will impede the production and marketing of generics in Morocco. It is sure to be a death sentence for those sick people who cannot afford the medicines sold by multinationa corporations.

Among these provisions, which can be found in other free-trade agreements between the US and developing countries, there are, in particular:

Contrary to what the Moroccan officials suggest, such provisions are not part of the TRIPS agreement, and in no way does Morocco have to accept them.

For numerous diseases (Aids, hepatitis, asthma, cancer etc..) access to medicines is a matter of life or death. But the prices of medicines prevent many people who are suffering from such diseases from having access to these medicines. Only the manufacture and distribution of generic versions can truly and permanently change this situation.

In solidarity with Moroccan patients, Act Up-Paris demands

Contact: Gaelle Krikorian
tel : +33 6 09 17 70 55

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