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IP NEWS: Trans-Pacific Partnership gives rise to Pharmaceutical IP concerns

Monday, 22 July 2013 21:41

The twelve (12) countries forming the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) including the United States (US), Canada, Chile and Japan, whose primary objective is to seek lower trade barriers amongst the so called "Pacific Rim Nations", are currently meeting in Malaysia for negotiations on what is deemed by some observers as a challenging agreement. The aim of TTP is to conclude such an agreement before the end of this current year.

However, the Financial Times of today in an article by James Politi, has commented that TTP has encountered various issues in particular about intellectual property rights over medicines. The US based PhRMA which is a strong lobby group for leading drug companies such as Pfizer, has maintained that strong intellectual property protection within the TTP is necessary emphasizing that the US should use the TTP negotiations "to bring IP standards up to US levels", arguing that the protection of intellectual property rights is essentially important for trade with the US given the on going intellectual property breaches taking place in the pharmaceutical market with the parallel unlicensed production of many and varied drugs. on the other hand, the non profit entity Doctors Without Borders, has has expressed its concern that TTP has become a threat for affordable medicines for million of people in low income countries, and therefore, potentially, it could be deemed as "the most harmful pact ever for access to medicines."