Medecins san Frontieres/Doctors without Borders
January 26, 2015
NEW YORK—The United States government continues to demand intellectual property provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that will limit access to medicines for at least half a billion people, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Monday as negotiators continued another round of secret meetings in New York.
“MSF and many others have repeatedly voiced concerns that the TPP is a looming disaster for people who rely on access to affordable generic medicines, both internationally and in the United States,” said Rohit Malpani, director of policy and analysis at the MSF Access Campaign. “Despite this outcry, the US continues to work behind closed doors, without any input from the public, experts, or elected officials, to aggressively push for intellectual property provisions that put the profits of pharmaceutical companies ahead of people’s health.”
If signed in its current form, the TPP—a far-reaching trade agreement involving the US and 11 other Pacific-Rim countries—would force all countries to grant additional drug patents, extending monopolies on medicines beyond 20 years, a practice called patent "evergreening."
The agreement would also impose an unprecedented extended period of exclusivity for clinical data required to prove the safety and efficacy of drugs and vaccines that are “biologic” products, extending monopolies in TPP countries, which will delay lower-cost versions of these medicines from entering the market.