Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


TPPA Ministers set to make crucial IP decisions this weekend

21 February 2014

For immediate release

TPPA Ministers set to make crucial IP decisions this weekend in Singapore

The intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement that Wikileaks posted in November signalled over 100 areas of disagreement. Those ‘square brackets’ have been rapidly disappearing in the lead-up to the ministerial meeting in Singapore this weekend, according to Professor Jane Kelsey, who is in Singapore monitoring the negotiations.

‘By the start of the officials’ meetings on Monday the 100-plus points of disagreement in last year’s intellectual property text had already been whittled away. I understand there have been further major decisions already this week, even before the ministers meet’, Kelsey said.

‘There is talk about the US making compromises and showing flexibility. This is an old trick. They set the original threshold outrageously high. Then they agree to “concessions” that are still far beyond the status quo. The result is new rules that profit Big Pharma at the expense of access to affordable medicines and protection of public health’.

One of the most crucial remaining decisions for TPPA ministers is the US demand for new rules that would give the pharmaceutical companies longer monopoly terms, including for patents, and delay the entry of new generic medicines to treat diseases like cancer and diabetes.

News reports say the US presented a proposal in Salt Lake City that sought 12 years of exclusivity, as applies in the US. Other countries laws currently allow for 8 years, as in Japan, 5 years as in Chile or Australia, or none, as in Peru and Vietnam. That proposal post-dated the Wikileaks text.

‘While the details are, of course, secret, the strong sense here is that the parties will settle on eight years, if they haven’t already - hardly a “concession” from the US end,’ Kelsey observed.

‘That would significantly squeeze Pharmac’s budget in the future or mean that New Zealand patients have to pay these high prices for the latest medicines’.

Other crucial intellectual property issues likely to be decided at the ministerial are:
- Data exclusivity for new uses/formulations for old substances
- Patent term extensions to cover the processing period for patent applications
- Patent linkage of marketing approval to existing patents
- Extension of copyright terms from life of the author + 50 years to life + 70 years.

Professor Kelsey recalled how ‘last November, we were reassured that the leaked IP text showed New Zealand’s negotiators were holding the line to protect our ability to decide our own health policy.’

‘Moving beyond that long-held position will mean the government has capitulated to the US.’

‘Trade minister Groser has no choice. He must put New Zealanders’ health first by refusing to accept any of the US demands. And he must show us the outcome of the ministerial meeting so we can hold him accountable for his actions’.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news