[Ip-health] New analysis: NAFTA 2.0 Pharmaceutical Related Patent Provisions

Burcu Kilic bkilic at citizen.org
Tue Dec 4 13:19:25 PST 2018

December 4

The revised North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0), rebranded by the Trump Administration as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA was signed last Friday during the G20 summit in Argentina.

NAFTA 2.0 is an updated version of the nearly 25-year-old NAFTA, with significant and harmful changes to the intellectual property (IP) provisions, which build on the harmful TRIPS-plus standards in other U.S. free trade agreements since NAFTA 1.0.

Following our analysis of the pharmaceutical related patent provisions, we can definitively conclude that NAFTA 2.0 threatens to undermine critical efforts towards affordable health care and medicine not only in Mexico and Canada but also in the U.S.

The text of the Agreement closely mimics the language and structure of the original U.S.-proposed IP language in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The TPP was fiercely criticized for the pharma-friendly patent-related provisions that put the health and well-being of people in the TPP countries at risk. The NAFTA 2.0 however, incorporates almost all of these pro-monopoly pharma-friendly patent-related provisions in the TPP. In some circumstances, it even goes beyond the TPP.

Mexico and Canada would need to change their existing laws to provide new exclusivities for pharmaceutical companies. This would put lifesaving medicines even more out of reach for many Mexicans and Canadians. These terms would also lock the U.S. into policies that have contributed to making U.S. medicine prices the highest in the world.

Our  analysis takes a look at the most controversial provisions that would affect pharmaceutical prices and availability of medicines in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It only covers some of the main obligations of the IP measures relating to patents and pharmaceutical products in the final text. It should be noted that the interpretation of this Chapter is also likely to depend on provisions in other NAFTA 2.0 chapters. Included at the end of this report is a comprehensive table of provisions that compares NAFTA 1.0, TPP, NAFTA 2.0 and existing national patent laws of the three negotiating parties.

For English version click here.<https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/nafta-2.0-pharmaceutical-related-patent-provisions.pdf>

For Spanish version click here.<https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/tlcan-2.0-disposiciones-de-patentes-relacionadas-con-productos-farmaceuticos.pdf>

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