TPP text release – analysis and comment

The complete text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has been released on Friday, as reported on this blog before. A first analysis of the IP chapter and the Tranparency Annex showed that there was only one meaningful difference to a version that had been leaked a month ago. The international medical NGO MSF expressed its concerns on the agreement which “locks in rules that will keep medicine prices high for longer and limit the tools that governments and civil society have to try to increase generic competition”. 

In a first brief analysis  only one (relatively) meaningful difference of the official text to the WikiLeaks analysis has been found, expanding the coverage of footnote 61, which gives a few countries some time to adapt their biologics exclusivity rules to the TPP, to products that are *or contain a* biologic.

The substance of prior analyses (see links below) appears to be entirely up to date. An interesting question is whether any other rules relevant to access and health concerns arise in the roughly 6,000 pages that never leaked – and what other public interests are affected by those pages.

Public Citizen’s statement on the final leaked IP text:

On the 2007 U.S. congressional “May 10” standard versus the final TPP text:

On biologics (with Third World Network):

On transition periods and exceptions:

What’s new in the final pharmaceutical IP leak (with Third World Network):

The Transparency Annex and Implications for U.S. Health Care:

The NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) published a statement explaining why the IP provisions included in TPP could harm access to medicines:

“MSF remains gravely concerned about the effects that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will have on access to affordable medicines for millions of people, if it is enacted. Today’s official release of the agreed TPP text confirms that the deal will further delay price-lowering generic competition by extending and strengthening monopoly market protections for pharmaceutical companies.

The TPP is a bad deal for medicine: it’s bad for humanitarian medical treatment providers such as MSF, and it’s bad for people who need access to affordable medicines around the world, including in the United States.

At a time when the high price of life-saving medicines and vaccines is increasingly recognized as a barrier to effective medical care, it is very concerning to see that the U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies have succeeded in locking in rules that will keep medicine prices high for longer and limit the tools that governments and civil society have to try to increase generic competition.

For example, if enacted, the TPP will not allow national regulatory authorities to use existing data that demonstrates a biological product’s safety and efficacy to authorize the sale of competitor products, even in the absence of patents.  The TPP would also force governments to extend existing patent monopolies beyond current 20-year terms at the request of pharmaceutical companies, and to redefine what type of medicine deserves a patent, including mandating the granting of new patents for modifications of existing medicines.

The provisions in the TPP text will not only raise the price of medicines and cause unnecessary suffering, but they also represent a complete departure from the U.S. government’s previous commitments to global health, including safeguards included in the U.S.’s 2007 ‘New Trade Policy.’

It is not too late to prevent further restrictions on access to affordable medicines in the TPP. As the text now goes to national legislatures for final approval, we urge all TPP governments to carefully consider whether the agreed TPP text reflects the direction they want to take on access to affordable medicines and promotion of biomedical innovation; if it does not, the TPP should be modified or rejected.”

This entry was posted in Data Exclusivity, Patent linkage, TPP, TRIPS plus. Bookmark the permalink.

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