[Ip-health] MSF warns access to medicines in grave danger as Trans-Pacific Partnership talks continue

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Tue Nov 19 08:51:40 PST 2013

*Access to Medicines in Grave Danger as Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks

 NEW YORK/GENEVA – November 19, 2013 – At the first meeting of
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators since the intellectual property
chapter of the secret trade agreement was leaked last week, Doctors Without
Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges countries to stand strong
against the attack on access to affordable medicines.

 “The leak confirms our worst fears --the U.S. government is continuing it
attempts to impose an unprecedented package of new trade rules that would
keep affordable generic medicines out of the hands of millions of people,”
said Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. manager of MSF’s Access Campaign. “The good
news is that the leak also reveals that the majority of countries
negotiating this trade deal object to some or all of the most harmful
provisions affecting access to medicines.  The U.S. cannot possibly expect
countries to cave in to rules that will endanger the health of their

The leaked text reveals that the majority of negotiating countries strongly
object to some or all of the intellectual property provisions affecting
pharmaceuticals, and that five countries, Canada, Chile, New Zealand,
Malaysia and Singapore, have put forth a counter-proposal that endeavours
to better balance public health needs with the commercial interests of
pharmaceutical firms. The counter-proposal would retain public health
protections and implement rules for pharmaceutical patenting and
intellectual property according to existing international standards set by
the World Trade Organization.  These rules present fewer(but still
significant) obstacles to the flow of affordable generic medicines.

This week MSF is launching a public appeal directed at Michael Froman, the
United State Trade Representative, asking him to withdraw aggressive
provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that will restrict access to
affordable medicines for millions of people:


“With so much official opposition nowclearly in the public view, countries
should be able to withstand political pressure from the U.S. and ensure
that the TPP doesn’t prioritize pharmaceutical profits over the lives and
well being of poor people,” said Rius Sanjuan.

For more information on how the TPPaffects access to medicines, visit:




Joanna Keenan
Press Officer
Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
P: +41 22 849 87 45
M: +41 79 203 13 02
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: twitter.com/joanna_keenan


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