[Ip-health] Statement of the LAC-Global Alliance for Access to Medicines on the TPP, July 2013

Andrea Carolina Reyes Rojas asistenciatecnica.misionsalud at gmail.com
Fri Jul 19 13:58:34 PDT 2013

Full letter:

July 2013




* *

The Latin American and Caribbean - Global Alliance for Access to Medicines (
*Alianza LAC-Global por el Acceso a Medicamentos*) is composed of civil
society organizations in Europe, the United States and Latin America, whose
mission is to advance initiatives that improve access to medicines
globally, with an emphasis on Latin America. The LAC-Global
Alliancebenefits fromthe valuable collaboration
of MSF Access Campaign, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM in
Spanish), the Health Ministry for Latin America (Pastoral de la Salud para
Latinoamérica) and the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.

The organizations of the LAC – Global Alliance for Access to
Medicines, committed
to our mission of defending and promoting the right to health and access to
medicines, rightly recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International
Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), General Comment
No. 14 of ComDESC and numerous binding international treaties, declare the

·      We reject and denounce the lack of transparency of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership negotiations. The failure to involve national parliaments and
civil society in the negotiations of a multilateral agreement that holds in
its balance the lives of 700 million people constitutes an attack on

·      We oppose any of the proposals included in the TPP that have a negative
effect on public health, including:

o  *Expansion of the scope of** patentability *which would lead
tosecondary patents,
patents for minor changes to known products, and *patents for**
diagnostic, therapeutic
and surgical methods.*

* *

o  *Extension** of the term of pharmaceutical patents* to compensate
delays in the patent prosecution or regulatory approval processes.**

* *

o  *“Patent linkage” *or linking regulatory approval to patent status, which
can facilitate patent abuse and function as a barrier to the supply of
generic medicines.**

* *

o  *Elimination** of the right* to challenge patent applications before
they are granted (“*pre-grant oppositions”*). With the TPP, oppositions to
a patent will only be able to be filed once the patent has been issued and
often times, once the monopoly has been established.**

* *

o  *Establishment of a system of exclusive data protection in countries
where it does not exist, and the expansion of data exclusivity in countries
where it does exist.** *In addition to having damaging implications for
access to medicines, data exclusivity is inconsistent with medical ethical
standards against duplicating tests in humans or vertebrate animals.**

* *

o  *Border measures* which could be used to seize shipments of generic
medicines that are in transit to developing countries at the mere suspicion
of infringing an intellectual property right.**

* *

o  *Judicial and administrative** presumption of patent validity*. The laws of
several TPP countries do not recognize this provision.

o  *Investor-state provisions that threaten public health *by making it
possible for developing countries to be sued in foreign tribunals and be
forced to pay millions in damages to foreign pharmaceutical companies for
alleged undermining of their expected earnings. This significantly limits
the regulatory powers of countries to guarantee the right to health of
their citizens. **

* *

o  Provisions related to *health policies,** medicine price controls and health
spending*. National health policies are part of the sovereignty of states and
should not be considered under trade agreements.* *

* *

* *

*All these measures in question** are “TRIPS Plus”. Further, they go beyond
FTAs signed by several of the countries involved in the TPP. They also run
counter to Decision 486, the Common Intellectual Property Regime of the
Andean Community of Nations.*

* *

*If** enacted these measures would create further obstacles for countries
seeking to adopt policies and regulations designed to promote and defend
the right to health. They would cause damaging consequences for public health
in TPP countries by promoting the expansion of pharmaceutical monopolies,
the delay of generic competition and high costs of treatments for patients
and government health programs, thereby endangering access to goods
that are essential
for health and life.*

* *

Compelled by the above, the undersigned organizations, call for the

·        *To the governments of** all TPP countries:* a) Require
immediate public
disclosure of the texts being negotiated, b) Refuse to approve or ratify an
agreement containing provisions restricting access to goods and services
essential for the health of their people, and c) Review national legal
systems to ensure that they provide broad exceptions to patenting as
well as the
right to protect public health from the harmful effects of intellectual
property, as enshrined in the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration.**

* *

·        *To the governments of** developing countries involved in the
TPP:*a) Evaluate the
costs and benefits of the TPP for public health, b) Firmly reject any
aspiration to strengthen the monopolies of multinational drug companies at
the expense of the health of the population or to impose rules restricting
competition or regulation of  drug prices, c) Protect governments’ rights
to use compulsory licenses and other public health safeguards under
international law, and d) Demand an exception for public health in order to
enable all countries to maintain and even improve access to affordable

* *

·        *To the government of** the United States*: Withdraw the TRIPS-plus
provisions contained in the proposed Intellectual Property Chapter of the
TPP and honor the bipartisan New Trade Policy 2007, in which the U.S. Congress
and the Administration agreed to protections for public health in developing
countries in future trade agreements.**

* *

·        *To those within the health sector of the Asia**-Pacific region*:
Reject the imposition of standards and measures detrimental to public
health and proactively support the comprehensive World Health Organization
(WHO) Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and
Intellectual Property (WHA Resolution 61.21, 2008), and the negotiation of
the Global Research and Development (R&D) Treaty proposed by the World
Health Organization (WHO) Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG), at both
the national and international level, including the principles for the
development of demonstration projects leading to a global treaty
onmedicines research and development that will be presented at the
upcoming meeting in late 2013.**

* *

·        *To all** civil society organizations,* especially ones dedicated
to those who are living with chronic diseases as well communicable and
diseases: Take a leading role regarding the TPP negotiations and join forces in
blocking any attempt to restrict access to health goods and services.**

* *

* *

The TPP prioritizes commercial interests over fundamental human rights. We
stand in solidarity with all the movements that have been fighting for the
right to life, health, dignity, welfare, equality, food, the
environment, education,
information, knowledge and traditional systems of life, all of which will
be seriously affected by the proposed TPP.


Coordinator of the Latin America & Caribbean-Global Alliance for Access to
Medicines (*Alianza LAC-Global por el Acceso a Medicamentos*)


*Asociacão** Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS (ABIA) **- Working Group
on Intellectual Property (**GTPI) (Brazil)*

*Health Action International - AIS Latin America and the Caribbean*

*  Health Action International - AIS Colombia*

*  Health Action International - AIS Ecuador*

*Health Action International - AIS Nicaragua*

*Health Action International - AIS Peru*

*Health Action International*

*Health Action International – Europe*

*Farmamundi** (Spain)*

*Colombian Medical Federation*

*IFARMA Foundation (Colombia)*

*GEP Foundation (Argentina)*

*Caribbean-International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)-LATCA

*KEI - Knowledge Ecology International (USA)*

*Misión Salud (Colombia)*

*Políticas Farmacéuticas (Chile)*

*  Public Citizen (USA)*

*Red Peruana Por Una Globalización Con Equidad (RedGE) (Peru)*
*Andrea Carolina Reyes Rojas*
Asistente Técnica de la Coordinación de la Alianza LAC - Global por el
Acceso a Medicamentos

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