Obama’s trade plan in critical condition – Last week Congress dealt a blow to White House hopes for authority to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement without amendment. This was good news for opponents of the pact, including global health advocates concerned that extended patent protections in the deal could put life-saving medicine out of reach for millions of people who need it. According to this piece, however, with supporters of the deal not giving up, that fast-track authority itself may still receive life-saving measures.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership — Is It Bad for Your Health? – This piece by Amy Kapczynski of Yale Law School in the New England Journal of Medicine supplies some of the reasons Congress should hang onto the ability to make changes to the text of the trade deal. They include provisions that now, according to recently leaked documents, would internationally outlaw generic versions of drugs with patents extended by superficial changes. Provisions also would limit domestic approval of generic medicines and give companies unprecedented opportunities to challenge regulations that interfere with their profits.
U.S. Shifts Stance on Drug Pricing in Pacific Trade Pact Talks, Document Reveals – Looking at the recently leaked “Annex on Transparency and and Procedural Fairness for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices” of the Trans-Pacific trade pact, this article looks at public health advocates’ concerns that the annex is about neither transparency or fairness.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Transparency for the Big Pharma Wrecking Crew – This post from Health GAP policy analyst Brook Baker goes a step further and argues that adjustments to the pact since previously leaked documents don’t represent “shifts” as much as “cosmetic” changes, while the substance of the text continues to protect pharmaceutical monopolies at the expense of public health interests.