Medicines Shouldn’t Be a Luxury
Time is running out to change a trade deal that could jeopardize people’s access to affordable medicines.
Carmen Jose-Panti from Mozambique is one of ten million HIV positive people in the world whose lives have been transformed by affordable treatment. “Before, my husband would come back from work and find me just lying in bed. But now that I am taking the medicines I can cook alone, I can wash, and I am running a small shop.”
Competition from generic drug companies has reduced the price of HIV drugs by a staggering 99 per cent to less than $140 per patient per year. This has given more HIV patients in the developing world—like Carmen—a chance not only to survive, but to lead meaningful lives.
But Canada is participating in international trade talks that could jeopardize what has already been achieved, and put the lives of millions of patients at risk.
Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health.
Many countries and treatment providers like Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rely on affordable quality generic medicines to treat life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. We need to keep prices low so our patients — and millions of others still waiting for treatment in the developing world — can get the medicines they need.
Time is running out. The talks are scheduled to conclude this fall.
We need the Canadian government to reject damaging provisions that could make the TPP the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines. Please join MSF Canada in signing this petition, because medicines shouldn’t be a luxury.
- Member of Parliament Calgary Southwest
- Prime Minister of Canada
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC, MP
- Leader, Conservative Party of Canada / Chef, Parti Conservateur du Canada
I am writing to urge the Canadian government to reject provisions being proposed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that threaten to restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people.
I am concerned about specific provisions in the intellectual property, investment and pharmaceutical pricing chapters that will make it harder for patients, governments and treatment providers to access affordable generic medicines in developing countries.
Too many people already suffer and die because the medicines they need are too expensive or do not exist. I cannot stand by as this proposed agreement threatens to restrict access even further.
I urge the Canadian government to ensure that the final text of the TPP is aligned with its pre-existing global public health commitments. Medicines should not be a luxury.
Today: Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Canada is counting on you
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