With the talks held behind closed doors and without participation by health ministers, analysts say there are few voices to prevent the final draft from giving multinational pharmaceuticals enough power to shut generics down.
The European Union has suggested it could drop two demands that would have affected the generics industry, specifically on patent extensions and on allowing companies to keep scientific data and clinical studies under wraps.
But experts say there are even more worrying provisions in the draft, which has been leaked during the talks and discussed by Indian negotiators with health care workers.
Measures to strengthen intellectual property rights, for example, would require courts to impose injunctions on drug production whenever a complaint is filed, whereas courts today often allow production of lifesaving drugs to continue while cases are pending.
There are also measures for widening lawsuits so patent holders can sue not just pharmaceuticals producing generics, but also those who supply materials as mundane as plastic bottles, nonprofit groups and foreign governments who purchase the drugs, and hypothetically even those who use them _ the patients.
Another measure would let investors sue the Indian government if they feel their investment is being undermined, for example, by a license that allows a generic to be produced.
“Who do these measures serve? Not the European people, not the Indian people, not even the governments,” said Indian lawyer Anand Grover, who since 2006 has served as a U.N. Special Rapporteur on human rights to health. “In fact, this is for a very small, profit-taking group of people.”
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