Metro advertisements for Doctors Without Borders, 2015. Photograph by Drew Angerer
Press release |

MSF responds to new leak of Trans-Pacific Partnership text on intellectual property for pharmaceuticals

Photograph by Drew Angerer
Metro advertisements for Doctors Without Borders, 2015. Photograph by Drew Angerer

4 August 2015 — Following last week’s round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Maui, Hawaii, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has published a leaked copy of sections of the secret TPP negotiating text on Intellectual Property, including information on what’s being proposed for pharmaceutical products. The negotiating text is dated May 11, 2015, and reflects the state of the text right before the Maui rounds of the negotiation, which ended Friday, July 31, 2015 without concluding the deal. 

A preliminary review of the leaked text confirms that provisions that will harm access to medicines, primarily being proposed by the United States and Japan, remain in the text.  In addition, the text shows that many negotiating countries continue to object to the inclusion of these provisions, which will strengthen, lengthen and create new patent and regulatory monopolies for pharmaceutical products. MSF has called on all negotiating countries to reject any provisions that will raise the price of medicines and reduce the availability of price-lowering generic competition.

Statement by Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. manager and legal policy advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign:

“This new leaked text confirms some of the most concerning provisions that will have a devastating impact on global health remain in the text, including data exclusivity for biologic products and mandatory secondary patenting. The text also confirms that the U.S. is walking away from previous public health commitments made as part of the New Trade Policy or ‘May 10 Agreement’ with Peru, Colombia and Panama. MSF calls on all negotiating countries to reject provisions that will grant pharmaceutical companies additional monopoly protections, delay generic competition and keep medicines out of reach of MSF medical operations and millions of people.

Faced with the intransigence of the U.S. government on these issues during the negotiations in Hawaii last week, we see that a few countries are moving towards negotiating ‘carve-outs’ that would exempt them from changing their existing national laws, but would then leave the rest of the TPP countries facing the full implementation of these harmful provisions. What we really need is these provisions removed completely from the TPP, not special deals that exempt only specific countries from these rules.”

Find out more about the severe medical implications of the TPP