TPP Could Decrease Availability Of Generic Medicines To Patients Worldwide
JAMA: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Implications for Access to Essential Medicines
Jing Luo and Aaron S. Kesselheim of the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
“…[I]n its current form, the [Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)] could lower the bar for the patenting of pharmaceutical innovations and make it substantially more difficult for generic manufacturers to enter the market in TPP member countries. … The overall effect of the TPP could be to extend the effective patent life of drugs and to decrease the availability of generic drugs or biosimilar medicines available to patients around the world. … If the United States continues down the path exposed in the leaked draft and expects other TPP countries to accept new standards for pharmaceutical intellectual property protections, it should also allow concessions that would encourage low-cost and high-quality generic drugs competition once market exclusivity ends. … [M]eaningful technology transfer could be incorporated to promote local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity. An innovative financing instrument … could also be created to help less-wealthy, signatory countries procure medicines that will inevitably be made more expensive by the agreement” (8/20).