IGJ Media Release
Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ):
Jakarta, July 16, 2020.
Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ) urges the House of Representatives and the Government to stop discussing the Omnibus Law because the liberalization agenda set forth therein creates injustice for the people and is against the Constitution.
“The Omnibus law is designed only to facilitate the interests of investors and open up even greater monopoly space for corporations. Moreover, the omnibus law refers more to the content of free trade agreements rather than the mandate of the Constitution”, explained Rachmi Hertanti, Executive Director of IGJ.
Rachmi explained that the abolition of article 20 of the Patent Law in Article 110 of the Omnibus bill on job creation would only re-strengthen the medicines’ patent monopoly by large pharmaceutical companies and have a long-term impact on the fulfillment of health insurance for all Indonesians.
“The abolition of article 20 of the Patent Law makes the patented medicine inaccessible to patients in Indonesia because there is no obligation for medicine patent owners, usually foreign pharmaceutical companies, to sell their products in Indonesia. Including removing the power of the government to be able to implement the use of patents by the Government to produce generic versions of medicines needed by the public, especially in emergency situations, such as the use of compulsory licenses”, explained Rachmi.
Rachmi also added that the solution of Article 20 of the Patent Law is not to be deleted. Because the abolition of article 20 of the Patent Law will make the articles underneath also become infertile, for example related to article 82 concerning compulsory licenses, and article 109 concerning the abolition of patents as stipulated in the Patent Law No.13 of 2016.
“In fact, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Indonesian people need the article 20 of Patent Law to be able to open access to the widest range of medicines and medical devices needed in handling Covid-19. Not just because the government lobbies of major countries such as Japan, US, and the European Union, Switzerland and large pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Novartis, GSK, etc. do not like the article, then the government simply abolished the article. Then what about the interests of the people? Regulations on patents should be balanced between the obligations of patent holders and the fulfillment of public rights. The regulation of Article 110 of the Omnibus law shows that the government is in favor of the interests of corporations by strengthening and extending the drug monopoly”, stressed Rachmi.
Rachmi further explained that the revision of the Patent Law was also part of the promise given by the Government in free trade agreements between Indonesia and EFTA countries. The CEPA I-EFTA Agreement was signed last November 2018. “Switzerland is the home country of large pharmaceutical companies such as Roche and Novartis. They have succeeded in forcing the Indonesian government to commit to protecting the interests of the corporation rather than the interests of the people against the right to health”, stressed Rachmi.
Another thing that is also a special concern of IGJ from Omnibus Law is the effort to harmonize Indonesian agricultural sector legislation with the WTO agreement, namely the food law, horticultural law, protection and empowerment of farmers, and cultivation system law sustainable agriculture.
The four agricultural sector laws were revised due to Indonesia’s defeat in a dispute at the WTO against the United States and New Zealand related to food import policies. The defeat forced the Indonesian government to revise the relevant laws. And of course, the deregulation of the four laws will have a major impact on food sovereignty and peasant sovereignty.
“Omnibus Law has again put national food production in the hands of corporations. Parliament and the Government should have learned from Covid’s experience. The food crisis in the midst of a pandemic has become evidence for all of us that the monopoly of food production in the hands of corporations has failed to answer the needs of society. In fact, on the contrary the solidarity of food production by the people that arises in the midst of a pandemic shows the success of food managed collectively by the community can answer the food crisis that occurred”, stressed Rachmi *
For further information, please contact:
Rachmi Hertanti, Executive Director of Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ): 08174985180