Our trade deals should put people before profits, but TPP would do just the opposite.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial 12-nation deal that critics warn favors corporate power over public health, specifically threatens access to essential drugs for people with HIV and AIDS, an advocacy group warned Tuesday marking World AIDS Day.
"By harming access to live-saving medications, the TPP poses a real threat to our continued progress in fighting the pandemic," said Jerame Davis, executive director of Pride at Work, an AFL-CIO subsidiary that organizes support for labor and LGBTQI issues. "Continued worldwide progress in containing and fighting back against HIV/AIDS means access to affordable drugs."
Provisions in the TPP would allow, among other things, extended patents on biologics that would grant Big Pharma free rein to ratchet up prices on what Pride at Work calls "the most effective" HIV/AIDS medications.
As economist Dean Baker recently explained, "Patent monopolies provide both enormous incentive and opportunity for drug companies to increase profits at the expense of patients."
Such monopolistic protections for drug manufacturers—which already exist to some extent and would only be expanded through the so-called trade deal—"would have a dramatic effect on access to safe and affordable care for millions of people worldwide," Pride at Work said Tuesday.