[Ip-health] Leaked TPPA Texts Reveal U.S. Pushing Extreme Pharmaceutical Corporation Demands that Would Undermine Consumers’ Access to Affordable Medicine

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Sat Oct 22 14:30:33 PDT 2011


http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2011/10/22/leaked-trans-pacific-fta-texts-reveal-u-s-undermining-access-to-medicine/
Leaked Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement Texts Reveal U.S. Pushing
Extreme Pharmaceutical Corporation Demands that Would Undermine
Consumers’ Access to Affordable Medicine

Obama Administration Positions Roll Back Initial 2007 Reforms Made by
Bush Administration on Medicines Patents, Abandon Access to Medicines
Commitments

Leaks of U.S. proposals for the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement
(FTA) reveal that the Obama administration has reversed reforms
designed to enhance access to affordable medicines made during the
George W. Bush administration and is instead demanding new rights for
pharmaceutical firms to challenge pricing and other drug formulary
policies used by many developed countries to keep down prices. The
leaked draft text raises multiple concerns, including the following:

EMPOWERING BIG PHARMA TO ATTACK COST-SAVING DRUG FORMULARIES
This is a new proposal to empower pharmaceutical firms to attack the
medicine formulary systems that New Zealand, Australia and other
developed countries have used so successfully to reduce sky-high drug
prices. Governments use formularies to control health costs by listing
medicines approved for government purchase or reimbursement and
negotiating with drug firms to obtain the lowest prices. Using the
Trans-Pacific FTA to undermine Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits
Scheme (PBS) and New Zealand’s Pharmaceutical Management Agency
(PHARMAC) is a goal U.S. pharmaceutical firms. U.S. states and some
U.S. national programs also use formulary systems.

See the leaked U.S. proposal for a TRANSPARENCY CHAPTER – ANNEX ON
TRANSPARENCY AND PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS FOR HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES and
see civil society groups’ analyses of what it would mean below.

Also see the leaked U.S. proposal for TBT ANNEXES ON MEDICAL DEVICES,
PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS AND COSMETIC PRODUCTS.

NEW MONOPOLY PATENT RIGHTS FOR BIG PHARMA THAT WILL UNDERMINE ACCESS TO MEDICINE
The leaked texts show that U.S. officials’ recently-announced
medicines “access window” is window dressing for piling on monopoly
privileges for Big Pharma that will in fact undermine access to
medicine for millions. This U.S. intellectual property proposal, which
rolls back initial reforms made in a trade pact that the Bush
administration signed with Peru only four years ago, would lengthen
pharmaceutical monopolies, eliminate safeguards against patent abuse,
grant additional exclusive controls over clinical trial data and favor
the giant pharmaceutical companies’ monopoly interests at every stage.

See the leaked U.S. proposal for the INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CHAPTER and
see civil society groups’ analyses of what it would mean below.

NEW CROSS-CUTTING LIMITS ON REGULATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES
The leaked draft text of the regulatory coherence chapter shows an
attempt to impose a structure and set of procedures for domestic
decisions on all forms of regulation in current and prospective
Trans-Pacific FTA countries. It expands on Asian Pacific Economic
Cooperation initiatives led by New Zealand, Australia and the U.S.
that push deregulation and self-regulation. While some elements of the
draft text are conducive to well-informed and consistent good decision
making, it is inappropriate for a “trade” agreement to dictate to
governments how they should structure their domestic regulatory
agencies and procedures and make decision on domestic regulatory
policy. Despite the procedural appearance of the proposal, it contains
substantive biases in favor of light-handed regulation — a model that
has proved highly problematic in many countries and sectors, not least
the financial industry. Moreover, the chapter’s links to regulatory
constraint provisions in other proposed chapters of the agreement
would confer undue corporate influence over national policy and
regulatory decisions.

See the leaked text for the REGULATORY COHERENCE CHAPTER and see civil
society groups’ analyses of what it would mean below.

LEAKS SHOW WHY CIVIL SOCIETY DEMANDS FOR REGULAR ACCESS TO NEGOTIATING
TEXTS IS CRITICAL
The leaks highlight the need for regular release of Trans-Pacific FTA
negotiating texts, which has been a repeated demand of civil society
organizations in the involved countries. Twenty-two U.S. labor,
consumer, faith, environmental and human rights organizations —
including the Citizens Trade Campaign, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club,
Presbyterian Church (USA) and Public Citizen — again wrote U.S. Trade
Representative Ron Kirk in October 2011 calling on the U.S. government
to implement the administration’s transparency pledges and release
draft negotiating texts. Past demands have been rebuffed. In September
at the Chicago round of negotiations, Trans-Pacific FTA negotiators
admitted that they had signed a special pact to keep all documents
relating to these trade talks secret. The U.S. organizations’ letter,
as well as letters from civil society groups in the other involved
countries to their governments can be viewed at http://bit.ly/nmiw4v.

CIVIL SOCIETY’S ANALYSES OF LEAKED U.S. PROPOSALS

Public Citizen’s Memo on Obama Administration Backtracking from Bush
Era Access to Medicine Commitments
Professor Sean Flynn’s Analysis of Leaked U.S. Proposal for a
Trans-Pacific FTA Pharmaceutical Chapter
Public Citizen’s Comparative Analysis of the U.S. Intellectual
Property Proposal and Peruvian Law
Professor Jane Kelsey’s Preliminary Analysis of the Draft Chapter on
Domestic Coherence

“New leaked texts proposed by the United States to the Trans-Pacific
Free Trade Agreement show that the Obama administration has again
increased demands on developing countries to trade away access to
medicines. The new leaked proposals on intellectual property roll back
even modest Bush era commitments to safeguard public health in trade
pacts.”
— Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen [see full analysis]

“The leaked text confirms the worst fears of health officials.   The
Obama White House is walking back the core concessions on patent
extensions, patent linkage and test data protection that were
negotiated with the Bush White House in May 2007.  Obama is now
objectively much worse than Bush on these issues.  It may help the
White House raise campaign money from big drug companies, or help USTR
officials find their next high paying job working as lobbyists for the
drug companies.  It is a huge disappointment for us.   The texts cover
complex issues, and it is hard to summarize all that is important.
Even as regards to the reference to the WTO Doha Agreement, the White
House tries to sneak in text that makes it appear as though it is
limited to only some diseases or emergencies.   Collectively, the
provisions are designed to strengthen IPR monopolies on drugs, and
make it harder to regulate prices.  The consequences of stronger
monopolies and higher prices are less access to medicine.”
— James Love, Knowledge Ecology International

“All countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement
should reject the US proposal regulating pharmaceutical reimbursement
programs. This is an extreme proposal that has no place in a trade
negotiation, particularly one with some of the poorest countries in
the world.”
— Sean Flynn [see full analysis]


-- 
Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
http://www.keionline.org
manon.ress at keionline.org




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