The world got glimpse of what the Trans Pacific Partnership offers pharmaceutical companies last week with the WikiLeaks release of the treaty’s Intellectual Property Rights chapter, a day after its most recent update. The release comes with analyses of the chapter’s pharmaceutical provisions, and of the impact of requirements that all countries follow the provisions, regardless of economic ability to do so, within set transition periods. The release provides what essentially could be a last look at a deal hammered out in secrecy, and set to go before policymakers who have already voted down any chance to amend it. We’re reading some of the reactions.
TPP: Leaked Chapter Shows Trade Agreement Could Have Big Effects on Drug Prices, Privacy – This piece on the Consumerist Blog, a a not-for-profit subsidiary of Consumer Reports, lays out concerns surrounding the pact efficiently and clearly: cost and availability of drugs “especially for the poorest consumers.”
Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Document Raises New Concerns for Progressives – This piece in ThinkProgress, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, discusses concerns “not that the agreement tilts towards other countries, per se [but] that the TPP appears to be a sweetheart deal for corporations . . .”
India drug industry says U.S.-led trade deal will raise prices – Here a professor of economics and law at Columbia University says the deal is part of a trend to include “trade-unrelated features . . . into trade deals at the behest of U.S. lobbies,” and calls this one “deplorable.”
20 years After the TRIPS Agreement, U.S. Government Scores Massive Victory for Big Pharma in TPP Deal – And here’s what those most affected by the deal say it will do, speaking from experience: “Today in the Aisa-Pacific region, 2nd and 3rd line AIDS medicines are exorbitantly priced . . . We are directly seeing these impacts of the US-promoted patent rules in the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement that require 20 year monopolies on medicines in Malaysia . . .”
Call for Turing Pharmaceuticals to take immediate action – So why don’t we just trust pharmaceutical companies to do the right thing? How wrong can a monopoly on a drug go? Here’s one hint: A month after Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli announced the company would bring down the price of a critical life-saving drug for toxomplasmosis that the company had raised 5000 percent overnight from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, nothing has happened. Well that’s not true . . . While the price, a month later, remains at $750 per pill, continued limited access to the drug this week again prompted an update to the U.S. approved guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-infected adults and adolescents with alternate treatments to the preferred therapy for the illness. And a series of reports of consequences of the drug’s continued unaffordable price include:
“Within the last month I was seeing a child recently diagnosed with toxoplasmosis and was unable to obtain pyrimethamine as all contacted pharmacies had it listed as discontinued by their distributors. I had to change to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole despite the fact that data on that therapy in pediatrics is thin . . .”
“Currently, we have two inpatients on pyrimethamine for cerebral toxoplasmosis. We have two days left of pyrimethamine. A single bottle of 100 pills is the smallest the hospital can buy and will thus cost $75,000. Both patients will have to be switched to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole . . .”
“Yes, we have had a major issue getting pyrimethamine initially for a pregnant woman, and then for her baby following delivery . . .”
Daraprim: Generic version of drug costs less than £0.07 in India – That’s 10 cents a pill, instead of $750, for the same preferred treatment when a generic version is available.