Support for research programme to find affordable AIDS and malaria drugs for developing countries (codecision, 1st reading, pre-agreed compromise amendments adopted)

March 31, 2003

Brussels, 28 Mar 2003

Gérard CAUDRON (EUL/NGL, F)

Report on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council decision on Community participation in a research and development programme aimed at developing new clinical interventions to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis through a long-term partnership between Europe and the developing countries, undertaken by a number of Member States and Norway ( COM(2002) 474 - C5-0392/2002 - 2002/0211(COD))

Doc.: A5-00/2003 [may not be available yet]

Procedure: Codecision procedure (1st reading)

Debate: .03.2003

Vote: .03.2003

In adopting a legislative resolution on a research and development programme aimed at developing new clinical interventions to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries (in particular sub-Saharan Africa), MEPs outline their full support for the acceleration, development and evaluation of new vaccines to fight these deadly diseases.

As part of the EU's sixth framework programme, the development programme brings together all 15 Member States and Norway and sets up a research and development programme entitled "The European and Developing countries Clinical Trials programme" (EDCTP).

The five-year budget for the programme is some €600 million, with €200 million coming from the EU, €200 million from national research programmes and the final €200 million from the private sector. However, according to the compromise amendments, €600 million should be seen as a target figure and the EU should contribute up to €200 million. The programme is to be administered by a partnership board, which should reflect a balanced participation of experts from Member States, and from the developing countries involved in the EDCTP.

As to the actions envisaged under the programme, Parliament stresses that RTD activities linked directly to the development of new products and the improvement of existing products against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis should be suited to the specific requirements of developing countries, i.e. that they are effective, easy to use and as affordable as possible. A further compromise amendment states that "support should also give due consideration to sexual and reproductive health."

The EU has agreed to contribute €60 million to the newly created Global Health Fund, however, the Global Health Fund does not fund research and development activities, and the Parliament therefore underlines that, additional funds for research and development are required. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) alone cause more than 5 million deaths every year, with 95% of these in the developing world.

Parliament expects the swift adoption of the programme at first reading, indeed, the legislative resolution takes the form of a series of compromise amendments agreed after several tri-logue meetings (with Council and Commission).

Press enquiries: Richard Freedman (Strasbourg) tel.(33) 3 881 73785 (Brussels)  tel.(32-2) 28 41448 e-mail :   rfreedman@europarl.eu.int

European Parliament Daily Notebook 03

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