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Press Release

Doctors Without Borders Warns: With the TPP,
Affordable Medicines for Millions Will Disappear

November 2015

Doctors Without Borders
A destroyed area of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the morning after the U.S. bombing campaign.

Nov. 8, 2015 (EIRNS)—In a strongly worded statement released Nov. 5, Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), whose text was just made public, "is a bad deal for medicine; it’s bad for humanitarian medical treatment providers such as MSF, and it’s bad for people who need access to affordable medicines around the world, including in the United States." The statement was issued in the name of Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. manager and legal policy adviser for MSF’s Access Campaign.

Pointedly referencing the Obama Administration, the statement warns that "the provisions in the TPP will not only raise the price of medicines and cause unnecessary suffering, but they also represent a complete departure from the U.S. government’s previous commitments to global health, including safeguards included in the U.S.’s 2007 ‘New Trade Policy.’"

"MSF remains gravely concerned about the effects that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will have on access to affordable medicines for millions of people, if it is enacted,"

MSF states. The TPP text

"confirms that the deal will further delay price-lowering generic competition by extending and strengthening monopoly market protections for pharmaceutical companies.... It is very concerning to see that the U.S. government and pharmecutical companies have succeeded in locking in rules that will keep medicine prices high for longer and limit the tools that governments and civil society have to try to increase generic competition..."

If enacted, MSF warns,

"the TPP will not allow national regulatory authorities to use existing data that demonstrates a biological product’s safety and efficacy to authorize the sale of competitor products, even in the absence of patents. The TPP would also force governments to extend existing patent monopolies beyond current 20-year terms at the request of pharmaceutical companies..."

MSF urges all legislatures or parliaments of those nations that signed the TPP

"to carefully consider whether the agreed TPP text reflects the direction they want to take on access to affordable medicines and promotion of biomedical innovation; if it does not, the TPP should be modified or rejected."