Trade Agreements Should Focus On Medical R&D, Not Intellectual Property Rights

The Hill: TPP should protect patients, not patents
James Love, director of Knowledge Ecology International

“…Among the controversial provisions [of the Trans-Pacific Partnership] are proposals to mandate extended patent terms, require a 12-year monopoly on the evidence used to register pricy biologic drugs, ramp up the enforcement of rights, make it more risky and costly to register generic drugs, and limit the scope of exceptions to patent rights. … Focusing trade agreements on [biologic drug] R&D, rather than [intellectual property rights], would give governments the flexibility to lower drug prices, while ensuring robust and sustainable sources of R&D, and targeting R&D funding where it does the most good. We need trade agreements that allow innovation in the way we fund innovation, including approaches that completely de-link R&D costs from drug prices, so patients are no longer at risk to be the hostages in cost control efforts” (6/12).