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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
27 March
SNP Welcomes €600m EU Aids Research Funding

SNP MEP Ian Hudghton today called for assurances that EU proposals to provide €600 million for the fight against Aids and other diseases in developing countries would benefit those in genuine need.

During debates in Brussels today, MEPs backed proposals aimed at getting the right medicines for combating HIV/Aids, TB and malaria more easily to those in need in developing countries. The proposals mean that €200m of EU funding, coupled with €200m from national research programmes and €200m to be sought from private companies will be used to fund clinical trials to produce medicines accessible to local people in developing countries.

Responding on behalf of the EP Budgets Committee, Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"I very much welcome these proposals which would provide much needed funding for the fight against communicable diseases like HIV in developing countries. We now need to ensure that the beneficiaries of this excellent programme are those people in real need, the poor and dispossessed in developing countries whose social circumstances often deny them access to essential drugs. We should bear in mind that two thirds of the funding for this programme comes from public money - we need safeguards to ensure that the results of this research benefit those in real need rather than wealthy pharmaceutical companies.

Joining him in welcoming the proposals and speaking in the debate on behalf of the Women’s Committee, Welsh Nationalist MEP, Jill Evans, said:

"These proposals have the potential to alleviate the suffering of many in the developing world who are often denied access to drugs that they desperately need. Women in particular could benefit from this research. It is women who make up two thirds of the world's poor, and these diseases are often both the cause and consequence of poverty in developing countries. Up until the year 2000 alone, an estimated 9 million adult women had died of Aids, in Sub Saharan Africa, women constitute 55% of HIV infected adults and we have seen a tremendous increase in infection in women aged 15-24 in developing countries. I hope that this programme will recognise the pivotal role played by women in health promotion in developing countries, and will recognise also the need for the pharmaceutical industry, international agencies and governments to work in close partnership in ensuring that these drugs get through to those in real need".

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