MSF: TPP blocks drug access

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08 Sep 2015

The international medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (Medecins San Frontieres — MSF) has warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) contains “damaging” provisions that will lock-in high drug prices and keep affordable generic medicines out of reach of millions of people — including those living with HIV.

TPP is a trade agreement between America and 11 nations encompassing the Asia-Pacific region — including Australia; it accounts for 40 percent of global income. If approved in its current form, the TPP will have “a devastating impact on global health” said MSF.  It would lower the standard for which medicines deserve a patent, extend patent monopolies to existing drugs, and delay the availability of affordable versions of medical products.

MSF relies on affordable generic medicines for its programs around the world. The organisation has repeatedly expressed its concerns about the TPP. “It continues to prioritise the interests of pharmaceutical companies over the health of millions of people,” said Judi Rius Sanjuan, MSF legal policy advisor. “As it stands, the TPP will be the most damaging trade agreement for access to medicines in poor countries, ever.” The US Congress recently granted President Obama fast-track powers, paving the way for the deal to be sealed. 

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