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October 5, 2016
The European Union (EU) and the United States 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 this week 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 this week, the report warns the EU and US to resist pressure from pharmaceutical corporations and avoid including an intellectual property 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.
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.
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.
The 15th round of TTIP negotiations are taking place in New York until October 7. The report is available at www.bit.ly/2dKvria.