[Ip-health] DNP+ - RCEP negotiations in Kyoto - Open Letter to Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador of Japan to India
leenamenghaney at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 01:57:08 PDT 2015
*The Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+) **& **International Treatment
Preparedness Coalition* (*ITPC*) – *South Asia*
*Open Letter to **Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador of Japan to Indi**a*
*Japan Must Consider the Impact of RCEP on Access to Medicines in
*Don’t wage war against people living with HIV!*
The eighth round of negotiation for the Regional Comprehensive Economic
(RCEP) trade agreement is taking place in Kyoto, Japan and negotiators are
meeting to discuss intellectual property provisions.
That Japan is representing the private interests of pharmaceutical
companies in pushing TRIPS-plus intellectual property (IP) provisions in
RCEP negotiations is evident.
For anyone looking for proof, one has to look only at Japan’s RCEP IP
proposal, dated October 4, 2014 and leaked in February 2015
to verify actual demands for diluting safeguards against evergreening of
patents, border measures that intend to block trade in legitimate generic
medicines, and TRIPS-plus provisions such as data exclusivity and patent
RCEP can be compared to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), except that
rather than being driven by the United States; it is being driven by Japan.
Its proposal on the IP chapter is turning out as a carbon copy of the
TPP – which
is is on track to become the most harmful trade pact ever for access to
medicines in developing countries.
IP provisions in the Japanese proposal go beyond the Trade-Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the domestic laws of
many of the countries included in the RCEP negotiations, particularly
India, which is a major producer and supplier of essential medicines at
affordable prices across the developing world.
Japan has failed to take into account the chilling effect that aggressive
IP provisions proposed could have on access to affordable generic
medicines, highlighting its indifference to the potential loss of lives in
developing countries in the Asian region and beyond.
If IP provisions being pushed by Japanese negotiators are accepted, it
could stop the flow of affordable and life-saving medicines to patients in
Our experience around the world shows that treatment programs – and our
lives – depend on the availability of quality and affordable generic
medicines. If Japan does not properly consider the impact that stringent IP
provisions will have on patients in the developing world, there is a risk
that hard-won gains in the treatment of diseases like HIV/AIDS will be
undermined. People are killed not just by weapons but by lack of access to
The Government of Japan should work to ensure that the RCEP does not impose
‘TRIPS-plus’ IP standards on developing countries. RCEP must preserve and
affirm countries’ ability to use legal flexibilities under the TRIPS
Agreement and the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.
We believe that given the significant public interest issues at stake,
there is a need for greater transparency from Japan and other negotiating
countries in RCEP negotiations. Fast-tracking RCEP negotiations would
undermine generic competition from India and cost our government more, all
to the benefit of pharmaceutical companies’ monopolies and profits.
As people living with HIV, we request that Japan stop pursuing a free trade
agreement that threatens our most basic of human rights – the right to life.
*Vikas Ahuja, President, Delhi Network of Positive People*
*Loon Gangte, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition* (*ITPC*) – *South
*Contact: loon_gangte at yahoo.com/+91-9871029514
in May 2013, the RCEP is being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN (Association
of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and Australia, China, India, Japan,
New Zealand and South Korea.
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