[Ip-health] USTR releases documents from 2012 R&D treaty negotiations

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Sep 22 08:24:28 PDT 2015

USTR releases documents from 2012 R&D treaty negotiations


Submitted by James Love <http://keionline.org/user/4> on 21. September 2015
- 19:43

On September 28, 2012, nearly three years ago, KEI submitted a FOIA request
to USTR for "all documents relating to the World Health Organization (WHO)
consideration of an agreement or treaty to support medical R&D."

Three years later USTR has released 89 pages of documents, with some
redactions. But USTR also withheld 64 documents pursuant to FOIA exemption
552(b)(5) and three documents pursuant to FOIA exemption 552(b)(1).

   - USTR Cover letter
   - USTR released documents

Included in the release are two letters from Business Europe, two letters
from General Electric, one letter signed by NAM, NFTC, ECAT, the U.S.
Chamber and USCIB, and an agenda of a meeting (included in part below)
between HHS and PhRMA and several PhRMA members, that USTR and State
objected to, because they were not invited. I was particularly interested
in reading how HHS had an agenda item, "PAHO Director General Elections,"
since, well, these health agencies are supposed to regulate the drug
companies, not use them to vet high level appointments.

The industry letters opposing the R&D treaty include:

   - Letter from GE to Kenyan Minister for Medical Services
   Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang' Nyung'o, 23 May 2012
   - Letter from GE to Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health,
   South Africa
   Precious Matsoso, 23 May 2012
   - Letter from BUSINESSEUROPE to European Commissioner for Health and
   John Dalli, 16 May 2012
   - Letter from BUSINESSEUROPE to European Trade Commissioner, Karel De
   16 May 2012
   - Letter from Emergency Committee for American Trade, National
   Association of Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, United States
   Council for International Business and U.S. Chamber of Commerce
   Secretary of the Treasury (Timothy Geithner), United States Trade
   Representative (Ambassador Ronald Kirk) and Secretary of Health and Human
   Services, Katherine Sibelius, 13 January 2012

The released emails, which are in one large PDF file
illustrate the close relationship between various agencies in the Obama
administration, and big drug companies, when there are issues concerning
access to medicines by poor people. It is also instructive, as USTR tries
to conclude the TPP negotiations, that the United States continues to take
its cues from big drug companies in opposing global agreements to expand
medical R&D financing, while demanding higher standards for IPR and high
prices for drugs and other medical inventions, on the grounds that more IPR
and higher prices are needed to finance R&D. The road not taken would be
better for patients, and that point cannot be repeated enough.

*2PM Global Health Meeting with Ambassador Jim Kolker, Peter Mamacos, and
Ann Blackwood*

   - Corry Jacobs, PhRMA
   - Andrew Rudman, PhRMA
   - Joxel Garcia, International Healthcare Solutions Group
   - Claudia Poteet, Pfizer
   - Sean Callinicos, Sanofi-Pastuer
   - Carlos Espinal, Sanofi Pastuer (pending clearance)
   - Jonathan Santamauro, Abbott
   - Bradley Rossin, AstraZeneca
   - Christine Bugos, Emdserono
   - Rodney Lopez, Merck

*Meeting Agenda*

2PM Global Health Meeting with
Ambassador Jim Kolker,Peter Mamacos, and Ann Blackwood

I. WHO and the WHA:

   - Conflict of Interest
   - CEWG (R&D Treaty)
   - SSFFC
   - NCDs
   - Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
   - Essential Medicines Pricing Guidelines
   - UNEP Mercury Discussions


   - PAHO Director General Elections

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