Malaysian AIDS Council’s submission to the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) High Level Panel on Access to Medicines in regard to TPP highlights the impact of extended exclusivities on Malysian health. A submission has recommended key areas to UNSG and asked nations against ratifications of the TPP and denounces the advancement of maximalist IP through trade by linking it to innovation. Furthermore, submission proposes UNSG ‘to urge the US not to seek stronger IP protection during the free trade agreement certification process, including in the TPP’.
Key facts about Malaysia and Malaysian public health
- In 2016, RM 4.6 billion (USD$ 1.04 billion) was allocated for the supply of medicines, consumables, vaccines and reagents to all Government hospitals and clinics. This equates to 1.51% of GDP.
- The median monthly household income in Malaysia is RM 4585.00.
- Malaysia relies heavily on generic medicines with data showing the pharmacists recommend generic substitution for 84.7% of all brand name requests of medicines in Malaysia.
- The George Institute study ASEAN Costs in Oncology longitudinal mapping project involving 10.000 cancer patients states about 45% of Malaysian cancer patients suffer from ‘financial catastrophe’ where medical costs exceed 30% of household income 12 months after diagnosis.
- Data from Andrew Hill et al. indicate that Malaysia pays up to 8 times more for the HIV drug lopinavir – ritonavir when compared to countries in the same income bracket, bringing these prices down.
- Malaysia, as a middle- income country, is not included in the Gilead voluntary license for Sofosbuvir. Sofosbuvir is priced at RM 3,57,000 (USD$ 84,000) for 12 week treatment. It has been shown that treatment with generic versions can be provided at US$171-360 for 12 weeks treatment without genotyping. Given that there are several patents already granted in Malaysia, patients are not able to access generics.