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Leaked TPP text shows delays in cheaper essential medicines

Leaked TPP text shows delays in cheaper essential medicines and draconian internet controls as TPP negotiators meet in Australia

WikiLeaks has revealed the latest version of the draft intellectual property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Trade (TPP) negotiations between Australia, the US and 10 other Pacific Rim countries,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Co-ordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

“The text reveals that the US is still insisting upon extension of data exclusivity for 8-12 years on biologic drugs, which are the latest and most effective treatments for cancer. Pharmaceutical companies already have the right to charge monopoly prices on patented medicines for 20 years, so this will delay cheaper generic versions of these medicines for even longer,” said Dr Ranald

“This is an outrageous proposal which will drive up the cost of government subsidies to make these medicines affordable through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and create years of delays in the availability of these life-saving drugs. This should be a red line for the Australian government which should not even contemplate making such a decision in trade negotiations,” said Dr Ranald

“On copyright, there here is a proposal to make Internet Service Providers responsible for breaches of copyright by their customers, and force them to take punitive action against them. This is directly contrary to an Australian High Court decision, and would require change to Australian law. This would be a huge increase in the rights of copyright holders and a reduction in the rights of Internet users, which should be publicly debated through the Parliamentary process, not traded away in secret trade negotiations,” said Dr Ranald.”

“TPP negotiations will begin in Canberra on this Sunday, October 19 and move to a ministerial meeting in Sydney from October 25 to 7. There is still disagreement about the US proposals. Governments are waiting for the outcome of market access negotiations between the US and Japan, before engaging in trade-offs,” explained Dr Ranald.

“The Coalition government has signalled that it is prepared to make concessions on intellectual property and agree to the controversial right of foreign investors to sue governments for damages (ISDS) in return for increased market access for agricultural products. It is completely unacceptable that our government should be prepared to trade off affordable access to life-saving drugs and reduce rights of Internet users. Once again these proposed trade-offs show that the TPP is not in Australia’s national interest, “added Dr Ranald.

ENDS

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