Statement |

MSF responds to second Wikileaks release of Trans-Pacific Partnership text

Today Wikileaks published a revised copy of the intellectual property chapter from the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations:  The leaked document -- dated May 2014 – also discloses countries’ current negotiating positions. Wikileaks had released an earlier version of the IP chapter in November 2013.

A preliminary review of the text confirms MSF’s serious concerns about the Agreement’s public health impact remain valid:  some of the most damaging intellectual property provisions remain in the text.  Adopting the text in its current form will negatively affect affordable access to medicines and the health of millions of people across the Asia-Pacific region.

Statement by Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. Manager and Legal Policy Advisor, MSF Access Campaign:

“Although we’d much prefer if negotiating countries themselves abandoned the extreme secrecy that has characterized these negotiations, MSF welcomes the leak of the revised negotiating text as a means to facilitate an open, transparent discussion about the health impacts of this agreement on MSF medical operations and millions of patients in TPP countries and beyond.

“The leaked text reveals that most of the more problematic provisions are being pushed by the United States and Japan, while still being opposed by the majority of the rest of negotiating countries. While the Australian government continues to oppose many of the most problematic provisions, we are concerned about Australian support for the U.S. government’s push to mandate rules that facilitate secondary and abusive patenting by pharmaceutical companies, which blocks more affordable generic competition. As countries prepare for TPP negotiations in Australia starting October 19, we once again urge all countries to reject harmful intellectual property provisions that will restrict access to medicines.”

Some of the most harmful provisions remaining in the text would:

  • Limit countries’ ability to exercise rights confirmed in the 2001 Doha Declaration, by restricting those rights to a specific list of diseases and situations.
  • Limit the capacity that countries have to restrict secondary patenting and abusive patenting by requiring patents on “new uses or methods of using a known product.”
  • Restrict countries’ ability to include important public health flexibilities in their own national laws, for example India’s Section 3(d) patent law which requires evidence of “enhanced efficacy” before additional patents can be granted on existing products.
  • Restrict countries’ ability to use to the full the public health flexibilities recognized in the TRIPS agreement, including compulsory licenses and patent exceptions.
  • Mandate that countries include TRIPS-plus measures in their national laws, including patent linkage, patent term extensions and new monopolies based on clinical data exclusivity, including for biological vaccines and medicines, which have never before been included in a US-led trade agreement.

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