Article Date: 07/01/2015

According to recently leaked TPP documents, United States negotiators are fighting to protect big pharmaceutical companies and their intellectual property rights concerning profits from competition via generic medications. This draft text suggests makers of generic drugs will have a hard time competing with much larger, brand-name pharmaceuticals overseas.

What does this mean for patients, companies, and governments? An increase in health care costs. In negotiations, the U.S. has made a strong stance for big drug companies by demanding stricter intellectual property provisions and “patent linkage.” This “would bar governments of TPP member countries from approving generic drugs if there were any outstanding patent disputes. This would allow drug companies to quash competing generics simply by filing patent claims.”

Even though these documents were leaked, nothing is finalized. In fact, the TPP negotiations, especially those on intellectual property, as ever-evolving. That said, we cannot judge quite yet. With hopes to find a happy medium between the need for affordable and readily available life-saving medicine and protecting the results of expensive research and enable developing new medications, the U.S., according to the leaked documentation, is swaying in favor of Big Pharma. This would drown generic drug makers in regulations and lawsuits and create higher drug prices around the world.

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