TPP: Still a Terrible Deal for Poor People’s Health

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was leaked late last year, it confirmed everything public health watchers had warned about for years. The far-reaching 12-country trade agreement would deny access to affordable medicines for patients across all TPP countries by strengthening and lengthening drug patent and regulatory monopolies and delaying generic competition. Several negotiating countries balked at the blatantly anti-public health provisions, so the U.S. proposed giving the poorest countries more time to comply with a few provisions.

According to the new U.S. proposal, TPP countries would be divided into two groups using the World Bank’s income classification system. Countries that currently fall below the high-income line (e.g. Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam) would be temporarily exempt from three of the most harmful provisions, each of which would serve to block or delay the availability of more affordable versions of medicines.”

Other provisions similarly harmful to public health would still be immediately required of all countries. The limited exemption would remain in effect for a specific period of time, which would either be determined by when the country graduates to “high income” status according to the World Bank income classification, or be arbitrarily set through a TPP “transition” period.

Source: Huffington Post (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
Base of the Pyramid, public health