Trade treaties expose Australia to costly litigation, experts warn

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

2 Sep 2014

Australia risks getting swept up in a wave of litigation by foreign corporations wishing to sue over unfavourable domestic laws, experts warn, after the government rejected a bill to ban controversial trade agreements.

Business groups have backed the government’s decision as good for investors, but the Greens and trade-law specialists warn the little known “investor-state dispute settlement” clauses inserted into treaties pose a serious threat.

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Pharma-funded patients’ groups pushing industry agenda on biosimilars

Source: Times of India

2 Sep 2014

NEW DELHI: Civil society groups working to improve access to medicines have protested against the participation of NGOs, especially patients’ groups receiving substantial funding from pharmaceutical companies, in the meeting on quality and safety of biosimilars which was held before the International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA) in Rio, Brazil.

Biosimilars is a biological medicine that is similar to another biological medicine that has already been authorized for use. The regulation of biotherapeutic products particularly biocompetitors and its impact on access to affordable safe and efficacious biotherapeutics has been a subject of controversy as pharma multinationals holding patents on an original biological medicine have been arguing that biosimilars by definition are not likely to be identical to the originator biologic.

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Japan’s attempt to get in stricter patent protection into free trade agreement raises concern

Source: Times of India

2 Sep 2014

NEW DELHI: Even as the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan generates much excitement, there is concern among those working for improving access to medicines regarding Japan’s attempt to get in stricter patent protection laws at the just-concluded round of negotiation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which includes India.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs – Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.

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Posted in access to medicines, ASEAN, FTAs, Generic drug, Indian Patent Law, Intellectual Property, IP Rights, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, TRIPS plus | Leave a comment

MSF cautions India on IP inclusion in RCEP talks

Source:Livemint

August 26,2014

Mumbai: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, an international not-for-profit organisation working in the field of access to affordable medicines, has cautioned India on the inclusion of intellectual property (IP) in the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement of which India is now a negotiating member.
MSF’s alert comes ahead of the next RCEP ministerial conference to be held in Myanmar on 27-28 August 2014.

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Posted in FTAs, Generic drug, HIV/Aids, Intellectual Property, IP Rights, Right to Health, WTO | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can India afford to stay out of FTAs?

Source: Financial Express

August 28,2014

SUMMARY

FTAs are here to stay and cannot be wished away. We need to devise ways to better manage and more effectively utilise them.

For quite some time India’s engagement with free trade agreements (FTAs) has come under scrutiny, criticism and even outright opposition from various quarters. Concerns have been expressed on the adverse impact of FTAs on the domestic industry. The Economic Survey 2010-11 observed that while there are benefits from the FTAs for Indian exports, in some cases the benefits to the partner countries are much more, with net gains of incremental exports from India being small or negative. Some FTAs are under review as it was felt that they have not been beneficial for the country. Continue reading

Posted in ASEAN, FTAs, TPPA, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Médecins Sans Frontières Warns About IP Inclusion In Asian FTA

August 27,2014

The inclusion of intellectual property in the ongoing negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between 16 countries, most of them Asian, is raising concerns about “TRIPS-plus” measures that could jeopardise generic drugs production in India, according to Médecins Sans Frontières. Continue reading

Posted in ASEAN, FTAs, Generic drug, IP Rights, patent, Right to Health, TRIPS plus | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MSF responds to European approval of hepatitis C drug daclatasvir

On 27 August 2014, the European Commission (EC) and the European Medicines
Agency (EMA) became the second stringent regulatory authority (after Japan
in July) to approve new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) daclatasvir, used to
treat hepatitis C. Daclatasvir is the third DAA – a new class of oral drugs
used to treat hepatitis C – to be approved. Continue reading

Posted in Hepatitis - C, Price Negotiations, Right to Health | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment