- The Hon Andrew Robb AO MPMinister for Trade and Investment
Support the 5-country proposal on patents and medicines in TPPA negotiations to safeguard access to medicines
Wikileaks has revealed that the United States is pushing for extreme intellectual property provisions in the regional Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement with Australia and several countries which, if accepted, would have dire consequences for access to affordable essential medicines.
See here for a summary of developments:
- Minister for Trade and Investment
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
I am writing to express my concern over ongoing trade negotiations between Australia and several governments over a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
Draft text released last week by Wikileaks indicates that the United States is continuing to press for extreme intellectual property provisions in the TPPA. If accepted, these provisions would severely restrict access to affordable medicines in Australia and other TPPA countries by delaying the availability of cheaper generic medicines.
The US proposal would affect the affordability of much-needed medicines for large numbers of Australians on low incomes who may be forced to postpone or forgo purchasing medicines if co-payments increase. I am also concerned about implications for the people in developing countries in our region, such as Vietnam, for whom many essential medicines are already unaffordable.
The leaked text shows that five countries (New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Chile, and Malaysia) have made a counter-proposal that represents a far more moderate and flexible approach to intellectual property privileges that would largely protect access to medicines and meet public health objectives.
The success of the counter-proposal - and future access to medicines for many people within Australia and in the region depends on the position Australia takes on these issues.
I therefore urge you to reject the extreme proposal of the US and actively support the counter-proposal for patents and medicines made by New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Chile and Malaysia.
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