Authors: Joel Lexchin & Deborah Gleeson| Publication: Sage Journals
August 11, 20160020731416662612Int J Health Serv
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a large regional trade agreement involving 12 countries. It was signed in principle in February 2016 but has not yet been ratified in any of the participating countries. The TPP provisions place a range of constraints on how governments regulate the pharmaceutical sector and set prices for medicines. This article presents a prospective policy analysis of the possible effects of the TPP on these two points in Canada and Australia. Five chapters of relevance to pharmaceutical policy are analyzed: chapters on Technical Barriers to Trade (Chapter 8), Intellectual Property (Chapter 18), Investment (Chapter 9), Dispute Resolution (Chapter 28), and an annex of the chapter on Transparency and Anti-Corruption (Chapter 26, Annex 26-A). The article concludes that the TPP could have profound effects on the criteria these countries use to decide on drug safety and effectiveness, how new drugs are approved (or not) for marketing, post-market surveillance and inspection, the listing of drugs on public formularies, and how individual drugs are priced in the future. Furthermore, the TPP, if ratified and enforced, will reduce future policy flexibility to address the increasing challenge of rising drug prices.