[Ip-health] Malaysia health Minister blasts TPP provisions

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Mon Aug 6 19:38:04 PDT 2012


* Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai:  "We are against the patent
extension. According to the agreement, if a medicine is launched in the US,
and then three years later it is launched in Malaysia, the patent would
start from when it is launched here and not when it was launched earlier in
the US," said Liow. "This is not fair."

*  A key point of contention by Malaysia is that the existing patents on
medicines would be extended for another five to 10 years or more, on top of
the current requirement of 20 years.

*  Liow also stressed that a company should not be given the power to sue a
government due to its state policies.


http://www.thesundaily.my/news/456642

Malaysia says no to TPP
6 August 2012 - 09:33pm
Azizul Rahman Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR (August 6, 2012): Malaysia is against the Trans-Pacific
Partnership Agreement (TPP) which seeks to extend the patent periods of
medicines by foreign companies.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the agreement, which is
being negotiated among eleven countries including the US and Malaysia,
would be detrimental to the local medical industry.

"We are against the patent extension. According to the agreement, if a
medicine is launched in the US, and then three years later it is launched
in Malaysia, the patent would start from when it is launched here and not
when it was launched earlier in the US," said Liow. "This is not fair."

He stressed that the agreement would in effect make healthcare less
affordable to the public.

Liow said this to reporters after launching Project WATTS (Where Aid Turns
To Sustainability), an environmentally focused charity campaign by The
Truly Loving Company Sdn Bhd here today.

The TPP is a multilateral free trade agreement intended to further
liberalise economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, it has reportedly drawn criticisms and protests in part due to the
secrecy of the negotiations and a number of controversial clauses in draft
agreements that have been leaked to the public.

Parties that have studied the leaks claim that the US is demanding
aggressive intellectual property provisions that go beyond what
international trade law requires.

A key point of contention by Malaysia is that the existing patents on
medicines would be extended for another five to 10 years or more, on top of
the current requirement of 20 years.

The patent extension means generic companies would not be able to produce
more affordable generic drugs during this period.

Liow also stressed that a company should not be given the power to sue a
government due to its state policies.

Under the agreement, investors can claim compensation from governments on
the grounds that a new regulation has adversely affected their investments.

The other nine member countries of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic
Partnership are Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Peru,
Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.

Non-governmental organisations in Malaysia had at a forum on Saturday
expressed reservations about the TPP.

They include the Malaysian AIDS Council, Breast Cancer Welfare Association
Malaysia and the Third World Network.

Liow added that his ministry is working to make hospitals more energy
efficient and thus more environmentally friendly and economical.

"There are 28 general hospitals in Malaysia and their electricity bills
alone come up to RM115 million (annually)," he said. "We hope by replacing,
among others, light bulbs and air-conditioners in these hospitals and
specialist centres with ones that are more energy-efficient, we can see a
minimum saving of 10% next year."

He explained that the project will start in the Klang Valley and a saving
of 3% is expected to be achieved by the end of the year.

-- 
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.
twitter.com/jamie_love



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