TPP may prevent developing nations from accessing generic medications

Médecins Sans Frontières is fighting against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which may prevent impoverished regions from gaining access to affordable, generic medications.

"Just prior to hosting an international AIDS conference two weeks ago, the Malaysian government made an important pledge to reject harmful provisions in the TPP trade deal that will increase medicine prices for Malaysians, who already pay some of the highest prices for HIV drugs among developing countries," U.S. Manager of MSF's Access Campaign Judit Rius said. "We need all negotiating countries, including the United States, to not only make the same strong public pledge to protect public health, but also to ensure that the technical details of the deal truly fulfill their principled commitments to global public health."

The TPP is a provision that will extend monopoly protection on high-priced pharmaceuticals, which will prohibit the generic reproduction of current medical technology. This can affect millions of people in poor parts of the world, particularly Asia, that can only afford generic medicines.

"The critically important role that many Asian countries have in supplying both generic medicines and the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to produce drugs, is in jeopardy because of new restrictions proposed in the TPP," Rius said. "The TPP threatens to put a stranglehold on the world's supply of affordable treatments, with dire consequences for patients, treatment providers, and pharmaceutical producers in developing countries."

Under the TPP provisions, monopolies may be allowed to surpass the initial 20-year patent period. Countries that sign the TPP must adhere to the final provisions of the agreement, regardless of its potential to severely restrict groups in-need of having the newest medical technology.

"The time for negotiators to fix the TPP is now, in this round of talks, before political pressure escalates and a deal that is bad for public health is sealed in the interest of time." Rius said.