[Ip-health] BMJ: Trade talks on patent protection violate right to health, allege advocacy groups

Krista Cox krista.cox at keionline.org
Tue Mar 29 15:39:22 PDT 2011

Trade talks on patent protection violate right to health, allege
advocacy groups

Published 29 March 2011)
Cite this as:  BMJ 2011; 342:d1993

John Zarocostas<

+ <http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1993.full#> Author Affiliations

Eleven advocacy groups have filed a complaint with the United Nations’
independent expert on the right to health, alleging that a regional free
trade accord being discussed in secret talks by nine countries violates
human rights because it threatens to restrict access to cheap generic

The talks have “clearly ignored” right to health and access to drugs, the
groups say, and “threaten to violate the right of hundreds of millions of
persons to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.”

Last month aid agencies and patients’ groups from India and several Asian
countries urged the Indian government to reject a free trade agreement it is
negotiating with the European Union that they said may undermine India’s
capacity to produce generic drugs (*BMJ* 2011;342:d1480, doi:
10.1136/bmj.d1480 <http://www.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/bmj.d1480>).

The talks on a trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) agreement, which are being
spearheaded by the United States and also include Australia, Brunei, Chile,
Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, call for the adoption
of intellectual property norms that are more stringent than those required
by the World Trade Organization’s agreement on trade related aspects of
intellectual property rights (TRIPS).

James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International, which is based in
Washington, DC, said, “The text that the United States has already tabled in
the TPP negotiation is an aggressive attack on the modest flexibilities that
developing countries now have [under TRIPS] to protect the poor.”

Krista Cox
Staff Attorney
Knowledge Ecology International
(202) 332-2670

More information about the Ip-health mailing list