[Ip-health] Vietnam cables: Data exclusivity should be automatic, comprehensive, retroactive and without procedures and formalities

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Thu Sep 15 04:26:05 PDT 2011


*Vietnam cables: Data exclusivity should be automatic, comprehensive,
retroactive and without procedures and formalities*

Cables recently published by Wikileaks illustrate the degree to which the
U.S. has been engaged in writing laws and training judges and government
officials in Vietnam, on a wide range of pharmaceutical and intellectual
property issues.
Vietnam is a country of 89 million persons, making it the 13th most populous
country in the world, and the second largest in population to the U.S. in
the current TPPA trade negotiation. Vietnam is also the poorest country in
the TPPA negotiation. In 2009, per capita income in Vietnam was just $1,000,
which is lower than many sub-Saharan African countries, and just 2 percent
of the US figure.

Below are some highlights of the sections of the cables that deal with
intellectual property rights for pharmaceutical test data. One important
cable is the March 2, 2009 Embassy recommendation that "Vietnam Should
Remain On The 2009 Special 301 Watch List." Note in particular paragraph 7
of the cable:

¶7. (U) In December 2008, the Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) agreed,
after urging by the USTR and U.S. industry, to modify its internal procedure
and grant five years of data exclusivity to new pharmaceuticals entering the
Vietnamese market, in line with Vietnam's BTA and TRIPs obligations. The
Mission is currently waiting to learn how the DAV will implement the new
rule, including whether data exclusivity will be automatic, comprehensive,
retroactive and, as industry group PhRMA noted, "without procedures and

In a few words, the cable sets out the U.S. demand for Vietnam and other
poor countries. The United States government want data exclusivity to be
"automatic, comprehensive, retroactive and . . . without procedures and
formalities." This is at the center of the current TPPA negotiations on

Earlier cables show that Vietnam had tried to limit IPR rights in data in
various ways, and even asked companies for evidence about their investments
in clinical trials. For example, there is this March 28, 2008 cable:


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.

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