For the first time ever this year, the European Parliament rejected a trade agreement posed by the European Commission, killing for now protections aimed at attacking drug counterfeiting.
Resistance to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was mostly from those who saw it as a threat to Internet freedoms. However, it also had been opposed by some nongovernmental organizations that distribute drugs in developing countries. They said its vague language and hard-line penalties put charitable groups at risk for moving legitimate generic medications amid the EU's effort to protect patented drugs.
While the European Parliament's international trade committee said it favors efforts to ensure that generic drugs meet international standards, it worried that ACTA's over-broad definition of "counterfeiting" left too much room for error. It said with the defeat of ACTA, the EU should now reconsider similar trade agreements, like one in the works with India, the world's leader in generic drug production.