NLARx Media Release                                                November 14, 2013 

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Somebody Leaked the Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Text, and Now Everyone Can See How the TPP Could Hike Drug Costs for Consumers

Yesterday, multiple organizations released links to a leaked August 30, 2013 text that purports to be under consideration in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Chapter. The IP chapter has implications for pharmaceutical prices and the availability of generics both in the US and in developing countries that are part of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 
Negotiations on this sweeping treaty have been underway for three years and the Obama Administration is seeking to wrap up the international trade and regulatory deal by the end of 2013. 
Several organizations have posted their analyses of the IP chapter, how it compares to an earlier version leaked several years ago, and what the positions of the different countries might mean: 
Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)
One thing is clear, and this leak only confirms what we already knew: US negotiators are standing in the shoes of Big Pharma seeking long-term monopolies even on "me too" drugs, and pushing for provisions that will delay generics -- puzzling since this flies in the face of the affordable healthcare agenda of the Obama Administration. Here is the still-relevant NLARx resolution on the TPP and pharmaceutical prices.
The leak comes on the heels of a couple of interesting developments. Late last month, AARP, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Consumers Union and other U.S. health and consumer advocacy groups wrote to President Obama expressing "deep concern" that TPP rules will thwart efforts to control escalating healthcare costs. Read the letter and this Global Trade Watch Blog. Then, a New York Times article on NSA spying on communications of US citizens at the behest of a variety of agency "customers" including the US Trade Representative prompted a letter from organizations engaged as stakeholders in the TPP negotiations, including NLARx. Just yesterday, other questions have been raised by members of Congress, who have the final say on whether to agree to the TPP, with letters from both Republican and Democratic members opposing "fast track" consideration of the TPP - all told, more than half of the House. 


Not leaked this time around is another problematic TPP Annex under consideration
, confusingly and inaccurately named the "Healthcare Transparency" Annex, which could affect state and federal Medicaid, 340B and Medicare Part B prescription drug purchasing and reimbursement. A version of this text was leaked in 2011 and analysis can be found in the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission's 2012 assessment of trade impacts and in NLARx Executive Director Sharon Treat's analysis of implications for state medicaid programs. This paper by Prof. Deborah Gleeson explains how similar provisions in prior treaties with Australia and Korea compare makes the case that drug costs will go up if this Annex becomes part of the TPP.
For more information:
Sharon Anglin Treat
NLARx Executive Director
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