Leena Menghaney, MSF Access Campaign, India
“Unless negotiators remove harmful provisions from RCEP, this trade deal is set to follow the dangerous path of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is recognised globally as the worst trade deal ever for access to medicines. We appeal to India’s intellectual property negotiators in particular to stand by the promise made last week by Health Minister JP Nadda at the UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS that ‘India is committed to maintaining TRIPS flexibilities to ensure access to affordable medicines.”
Belinda Townsend, Public Health Association of Australia
“The RCEP trade deal threatens to undermine India and China’s role as major suppliers of generic medicines for people in the developing world, including both low- and middle-income countries such as Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand. Access to affordable generic medicines is vital for these countries to address public health challenges, including HIV, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and non-communicable diseases, and to ensure that their governments can progressively realize the sustainable development goal of universal access to health care. If RCEP imposes high levels of intellectual property protection, these countries could lose their capacity to increase access to affordable of medicines for their populations.”
Chalermsak Kittitrakul, AIDS Access, Thailand
“If the RCEP trade deal imposes harmful ‘TRIPS-plus’ provisions, including patent term extensions and data exclusivity, access to affordable medicine will be restricted across the region. A 2008 study found that five-year patent term extensions in Thailand would increase medicine costs by nearly six billion dollars over twenty years, severely affecting the national health insurance system that cares for over 48 million people.”
1. Civil society letter to countries negotiating Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) before the Auckland round (June 2016) of negotiations.
2. Briefing document on two TRIPS-plus provisions.
3. Leaked intellectual property text from RCEP negotiations.