[Ip-health] Japan debates entering TPP talks

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Tue Oct 25 14:53:35 PDT 2011


These are some recent newstories from Japan, regarding the debate over
whether Japan should join the TPP negotiations.

Here are a few highlights:

*The US pharmaceutical industry supports TEAM, which calls for the
protection of intellectual property, saying that it would boost
competitiveness. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
(PhRMA), which advised the US government in drawing up TEAM, emphasizes the
importance of TEAM and its proposal to include intellectual property rights
in TPP talks.

* Keiichi Umada, professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kyorin University,
foresees the TPP impact on supply chains. “The TPP would remove tariffs,
making transactions between (member countries) companies next to nothing.

* In the future, India, among other countries, is expected to join the free
trade accord.


http://pj.jiho.jp/servlet/pjh/commentary/articles/1226564805851.html?nsy=2011

Impact on Japanese Pharmaceutical Companies Unavoidable: TPP Negotiations
(Oct.19)
Discussions are underway among nine countries, including the US and
Australia, to hammer out the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (regional
trade) initiative. Although the effects (of the TPP) on the agriculture
sector tends to be a focal point in Japan, proposals made last month by the
US have prompted discussions on promoting access for pharmaceutical
products. Whether or not Japan takes part in the free trade initiative, its
impact on the domestic pharmaceutical industry cannot be ignored.

Besides the US and Australia, the countries taking part in talks to join the
TPP are New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, and Peru.
The accord is aimed at the elimination of tariffs on goods, expanded
liberalization of trade in services, and the rule-making for non-tariff
areas, targeting, in principle, complete liberalization. Members expect to
reach an agreement on outlining a framework as early as November, at the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

In a negotiation round in September, the US announced its strategic
initiative, Trade Enhancing Access to Medicines, or TEAM, to improve trade
access for its pharmaceutical products, and proposed reaffirmation of the
following: 1) promotion of (market) access for drug products, 2) the
lowering of barriers for drug distribution, and 3) the World Trade
Organization’s TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
Agreement.

The US pharmaceutical industry supports TEAM, which calls for the protection
of intellectual property, saying that it would boost competitiveness. The
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which advised
the US government in drawing up TEAM, emphasizes the importance of TEAM and
its proposal to include intellectual property rights in TPP talks. PhRMA
Japan Representative Ira Wolf stresses that intellectual property is most
important for the drug industry.

Kanto Gakuen University Faculty of Economics Associate Professor Akiko Kato
turns her attention on a chapter calling for a review of TRIPS. WTO’s TRIPS
is the world’s first international agreement that has made the protection of
intellectual property mandatory for its member states, and includes the
protection of unreleased clinical trial data in addition to patents. While
Ms Kato says US objectives are yet unclear at present, she speculates that
proceedings to protect clinical data that is relevant to information for
approval application could be aimed at streamlining the drug regulations of
negotiating partners.

US President Barrack Obama plans to cut the period of exclusive marketing of
biopharmaceuticals from 12 years to seven, and is tightening control to
cover increasing medical expenses. At the same time, his administration is
looking to protect intellectual property through the TPP and tap into
overseas markets, while securing profits that were not previously accessible
due to violations by other parties, showing US strategy to reach a balance
between domestic and international policy.

The impact of TPP on the Japanese pharmaceutical industry is varied. An
official at a Japanese drugmaker that currently operates overseas remarked
that the impact would be limited, as negotiating parties for the TPP are
small countries. PhRMA’s Ira Wolf says that considering the aspects of
intellectual property protection, an adoption of TEAM would offer advantages
to Japanese manufacturers of innovative drugs, even if Japan did not join
the TPP.

Keiichi Umada, professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kyorin University,
foresees the TPP impact on supply chains. “The TPP would remove tariffs,
making transactions between (member countries) companies next to nothing.
Expansions in supply chains would mean enhanced efficiency (in production
and sales).” He does not rule out the possibility that it could trigger
industry reorganization aimed at boosting international competitiveness.

In the future, India, among other countries, is expected to join the free
trade accord. Whether Japan takes part or not, changes are inevitable in the
economic environment of the Pacific Rim region. There are, of course,
possibilities that overseas companies would make use of supply chains in the
region and enter their low-priced generic drug products into the Japanese
market. Changes in the environment brought about by the TPP will be a test
of the international competitiveness of Japanese pharmaceutical companies,
both at home and abroad. (Taro Fujimoto)



http://pj.jiho.jp/servlet/pjh/organization/detail/1226564828253.html
JPMA to Draw Up Opinion on TPP During This Month(Oct.20.2011)

JPMA Senior Managing Director Kawabe Talks to Reporters
Shin Kawabe, senior managing director, Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Association (JPMA), indicated his views at a news conference on October 19
on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, which is gathering
attention on whether Japan would take part, that the JPMA would like to put
together its basic stance in October.  . . .


http://pj.jiho.jp/servlet/pjh/organization/detail/1226564927436.html
JPA’s Yamamoto Calls for Deliberation on TPP after
Clarification(Oct.25.2011)

The Democratic Party of Japan’s project team for economic cooperation, which
is currently considering Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) talks, headed by former Trade Minister Yoshio Hachiro, met
with medical associations on October 24 to hear the opinions on the TPP. The
Japan Medical Association (JMA) expressed opposing views, and other
associations gave opinions calling for a cautious approach. Noting that a
conclusion on TPP participation had yet to be reached within his
organization, Vice President Nobuo Yamamoto of the Japan Pharmaceutical
Association (JPA) called for cautious steps in dealing with the issue,
saying, “The reality (of TPP participation) is unclear to the public, as
well as the country.” “Deliberation should be held after clarifying the
facts,” he added.

While admitting that there might be a good point to the TPP in terms of
eliminating the “drug lag,” Mr Yamamoto indicated that the concerns for the
safety and assurance of drugs will remain as a result. “It is fine if there
are guarantees that the current stable healthcare delivery system will not
collapse, but as long as that is not possible, the JPA cannot help but
express its concern,” he said.

At the hearing, the JMA opposed (TPP talks), while the Japan Dental
Association expressed their concerns. The Japanese Nursing Association
called for careful consideration.


-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.  Sometimes I am using
my MaxRoam number: +447937390810
twitter.com/jamie_love



More information about the Ip-health mailing list