US, Australia & Canada Decide Screw Over Poor Nations Because Big Pharma's Not Happy With TPP
from the isn't-that-nice dept
With the conclusion of the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement now in place, there has been some ridiculous whining from the pharmaceutical industry which got almost everything it wanted in the agreement, but wasn’t quite able to get a few things, including a 12 year patent-like exclusivity on biologics. And, because of that hissy fit, apparently, the USTR and its counterparts in Australia and Canada have agreed to help out Big Pharma in another arena. Jamie Love is reporting that this week there’s a meeting at the WTO this week to explore granting a special exemption on patent rules for developing nations (i.e., those who often need drugs the most, while also being the least likely to be able to afford them). It’s silly to enforce patents in these countries, because doing so would not only lead to almost no business at all, but (more importantly) because lots of people will die or, at the very least, suffer needlessly.
But, because Big Pharma is upset about the TPP, the USTR and others have decided that they “can’t” agree to anything that might upset Pharma. Talk about a bunch of captured government officials…
On Friday, 9 October 2015, Ambassador Punke met with representatives from 15 countries (including 5 Ambassadors) from the LDC Group. Ambassador Punke clearly indicated that the US could not agree on an indefinite exemption because certain stakeholders in the United States were quite upset with concessions made by USTR during the final stages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Informed sources noted that the US indicated that “the TPP did not deliver as expected on IP and so we are under a lot of pressure not to give in more on IP.”
How far the pharma industry has come from the days when George Merck declared: “We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been.”
And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they’re doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?