Updated on 23 July 2013
Patent protection in pharmaceuticals has become the biggest sticking points at the 18th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations that started on July 15 will go on till July 24
Singapore: What started as an effort to lower trade barriers across 12 Pacific Rim nations, from the US and Canada to Vietnam and Chile, the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations has brought together various drug companies and development groups.
However, the ongoing trade talks in Malaysia have reached a stalemate as drug development groups and companies have got into a clash over intellectual property provisions.
While the US has been pushing for expansion of patent protection, there has been loud resistance against this from emerging economies that fear losing access to affordable medicines.
The issue came about as the biggest sticking points at the 18th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations that started on July 15 will go on till July 24. Although the main initiative was to reach an agreement by the end of the year, the issue of patent protection for pharmaceuticals is proving to be a big roadblock.
Releasing an open letter to TPP countries, international charity organization Doctors without Borders has expressed serious concern about what could emerge in a deal. "It threatens to restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people, especially in low and middle-income countries. Unless certain damaging provisions are removed, the TPP has the potential to become the most harmful pact ever for access to medicines," the group said. They further added that the other issue of worry was that the deal could become a ‘global standard with worldwide damaging repercussions.'