In March 2001, MSF launched a new curative program for people with leishmaniasis in San Martin de Pangoa, in the province of Satipo. Photograph by Serge Sibert
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Trading Away Health: Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Agreement

Photograph by Serge Sibert

Medicines are a luxury for too many people in Latin America and the Caribbean. This fact is starting to change for AIDS drugs in some Latin American and Caribbean countries because generic competition is bringing down prices dramatically. However, this positive dynamic is now threatened by draft intellectual property provisions contained in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement, a proposed regional trade agreement covering all of the Americas, except Cuba.

To avoid destroying the competition that is reducing drug prices and making treatment more accessible, Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) calls on countries of the Americas to exclude intellectual property provisions from the FTAA agreement altogether. New tougher intellectual property rules proposed in the FTAA agreement will be bad for the health of people in the Americas.