REPORT REVEALS DANGER OF TTIP LOCKING EUROPE & US INTO HIGHER DRUG PRICES, FAILED PHARMA INNOVATION MODEL
AMSTERDAM—The European Union (EU) and the United States (US) risk being locked into higher drug prices and a failed model of pharmaceutical innovation during negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a joint report released today by Health Action International (HAI), the Commons Network and Public Citizen.
As EU and US officials meet in New York for the 15th round of TTIP negotiations, the report warns the EU and US to resist pressure from pharmaceutical corporations and avoid including an intellectual property (IP) chapter in TTIP. It notes that the negotiations coincide with increased criticism from EU Member States on how rules designed under the influence of the corporate lobby underpin a failed model of pharmaceutical innovation in Europe.
Tessel Mellema, Policy Advisor at Health Action International said: “We call upon all negotiators in New York not to lock Americans and Europeans into pharmaceutical innovation system that has been failing patients, and price gouging governments, for decades. To commit Europeans to this system indefinitely, in the middle of a public debate on the issue, would undermine the democratic principles of the European Union.”
HAI, the Commons Network and Public Citizen reviewed corporate filings with the EU Directorate-General for Trade and the US Trade Representative, as well as EU published positions and prior negotiated trade texts to inform the analysis. The ongoing negotiations are closed to the public and their texts are secret.
The report argues that including intellectual property in TTIP would undermine a critical democratic debate and lock Europeans and Americans into a model of innovation that fails to address priority health needs, while simultaneously allowing pharmaceutical companies to charge consumers exorbitant prices that bear no relation to their research and development costs.
“Given the record level of public outrage and debate over skyrocketing medicine prices in the US and Europe, it is inconceivable that a trade agreement attempts to set into stone even more pro-industry rules,” said Sophie Bloemen, Co-founder, Commons Network.
The report also expresses concern that American pharmaceutical companies could attempt to undermine European pricing and reimbursement regimes through the back door. TTIP may include rules that the pharmaceutical companies will use to swamp regulators with objections and tie them up in protracted legal battles, in order to keep medicine prices high.
“Big Pharma expects negotiators to serve its corporate profit interests in these talks,” said Peter Maybarduk, Director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines group. “Unfortunately, trade agreements have become one more mechanism for drug corporations to expand their monopoly power, by leveraging their lobbying power and election spending.”
The 15th round of TTIP negotiations are occurring in New York from 3-7 October. The report is available at www.bit.ly/2dKvria.
For interview requests or for additional information:
James Still, Communications Advisor | Health Action International
E: email@example.com | T: +31 20 412 4523 | www.haiweb.org
Special Report: India Rocked By Report Of Secret Assurance To US Industry On IP
That the Indian government has been under pressure from the United States to change its patent regime is no secret among those who follow the public discourse on intellectual property rights. Now, a new controversy about India’s alleged private assurance to the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and other lobby groups that it would not invoke compulsory licensing for commercial purposes seeks to add fuel to fiery speculation about a shift in India’s policy on IPR. FULL REPORT FROM INTELLETUAL PROPERTY WATCH
Alleged R&D Costs: Not A Transparent Driver Of Drug Prices
Whether laws enforcing transparency on costs would help curb extortionate drug prices in today’s world is hardly predictable now that pharma companies and their allies are lobbying governments to scupper any rules that would require them to disclose the real R&D costs and profits of their medicines and the rationale for charging what they do.
Why you should be concerned about the impact of TTIP on medicines
Both the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) are confronted with increasingly high medicine prices. European Member States are facing a looming access to medicines crisis as they struggle to afford new, patented, high-priced medicines. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), now under negotiation, could hamper needed changes towards affordability, needs-driven innovation and alternative incentive structures.
A new position paper from HaT Members Commons Network and Health Action International in collaboration with Public Citizen. And the same in Spanish.
La Unión Europea y los Estados Unidos se enfrentan a unos precios de medicamentos cada vez más elevados y distintos estados europeos tienen grandes dificultades para sufragar el coste de los fármacos patentados. El Acuerdo Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversión (TTIP), actualmente en negociación, podría suponer una barrera para los futuros cambios necesarios a favor de precios asequibles, un modelo de innovación que responde a las necesidades de salud pública y la creación de unos incentivos alternativos para nuevas terapias.
The Effects of Current Trade Agreements and IP Standards on Access to Health Services and Appropriate, High-Quality Medicines in Resource-Limited Countries like Uganda