Sunday, 23 October 2011 12:06

US' TPPA proposals will raise PBS medicine prices

By

The poll ratings of the Australia federal Labor government are likely to drop further if it gives in to draconian new proposals made by the US as part of the secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

According to documents leaked on the web overnight by the Citizens Trade Campaign, an advocacy group, the Obama administration is trying to empower big drug companies to attack schemes like Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) and New Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) that provide citizens of these countries with lower priced drugs.

If the proposals made by the US, contained in the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter of the TPPA, are accepted, it would mean greater restrictions on generic competition and rising medicine costs for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Labor government has indicated that it may accede to US proposals with the Australian ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, reportedly telling a US hearing on the agreement that everything was on the table.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean has reportedly made a similar statement.

The new leaked draft includes a proposal to lengthen and create new pharmaceutical monopolies, grant additional exclusive controls over clinical trial data and eliminate safeguards against the abuse of patients, according to analysis by Public Citizen, a US group. The group has also posted comparative analyses of how the IP proposals measure up against existing regimes in Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Peru.

In the process, the US has backtracked on a free trade agreement it struck with Peru just four years ago; the proposed changes would force Peru into conflict with the Andean Community, a trade grouping, and its Common Intellectual Property Regime.


The TPPA is a deal that has been negotiated in secret since March 2010; the opening round of talks was held in Canberra. The last round of talks is coming up in Peru shortly and US President Barack Obama is expected to announce a framework for the agreement at the APEC Summit in Hawaii in November.

The countries involved in the negotiations are the US, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore. The nine have a combined population of about 470 million and combined gross domestic product of $A18 trillion.

According to the analysis, the US proposal seeks to ramp up second-use patents for minor variations on known drugs and any new uses of these medicines.

There is also a proposal to increase drug monopolies by patent term adjustments that will delay the bringing to market of generic equivalents of drugs; this will mean higher prices for patients.

The US also wants to remove any safeguards against the abuse of patents and prevent third parties from challenging patent applications.

It wants to extend the control over clinical trial data, providing an extra three years of data exclusivity for new uses of existing products. This is in addition to five years for first uses of the same product.

Other documents leaked by the Citizens Trade Campaign include a draft of the regulatory coherence chapter which seeks to remove local regulatory controls of proposals made in the TPPA and vest them in an international body. Professor Jane Kelsey of the University of Auckland, has written an analysis of this document.


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments