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October 06, 2015.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has criticized aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, which concluded in Atlanta, GA, on Monday.
Among the outcomes of the TPP meeting is a compromise agreement between Australia and the US that sets a minimum market protection threshold for biotech drugs of five years, during which time drugmakers would have exclusive rights to clinical data, while adding an additional protection of several more years as applications for competing drugs are reviewed. Under a second track, pharma companies would have eight years of exclusive rights to a new product in some countries.
MSF Access Campaign's US Manager & Legal Policy Adviser, Judit Rius Sanjuan, expressed "dismay" that the TPP countries have agreed to demands "that will raise the price of medicines for millions by unnecessarily extending monopolies and further delaying price-lowering generic competition". She said that "TPP will still go down in history as the worst trade agreement for access to medicines in developing countries, which will be forced to change their laws to incorporate abusive intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical companies".
As the trade agreement now goes back to the national level for the TPP countries' final approval, MSF has urged "all governments to carefully consider before they sign on the dotted line whether this is the direction they want to take on access to affordable medicines and the promotion of biomedical innovation".