Photo: A Cambodian HIV patient holds some of her drug regimen in an MSF HIV ward. Cambodia 2007 © Dieter Telemans
As Clock Ticks Towards Trans-Pacific Trade Pact Deadline, U.S. Must End Stall Tactics on Access to Medicines
As closed-door talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement resume in Singapore this week, MSF calls on the U.S. government to end its stall tactics and revise its proposals for what otherwise promises to be the most harmful trade deal ever for access to medicines in developing countries.
The TPP negotiations, which currently involve eleven Asia-Pacific countries, are being conducted in secret, but leaked texts reveal the most aggressive intellectual property (IP) measures ever suggested in a trade deal with developing countries. The U.S. proposals threaten to roll back internationally-agreed public health safeguards and would put in place far-reaching monopoly protections that keep medicine prices high and out of the reach of millions in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Too many people already die needlessly because the medicines they need are too expensive or do not exist, and we cannot stand by as the Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens to further restrict access to medicines in developing countries,” said Dr. Unni Karunakara, International President of MSF. “We are gravely concerned about countries like Thailand, where MSF started treating HIV/AIDS more than a decade ago and then transitioned its programs to local authorities with the confidence that they would be able to continue providing lifesaving treatments. Now Thailand is on the cusp of joining a dangerous deal that could jeopardize its ability to maintain, let alone scale up, vital, life-saving health programs for its people.”