TPP Could Restrict American’s Healthcare Options

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( — July 2, 2015) — A leaked Trans Pacific Partnership document allegedly providing information as to who would benefit from the treaty has recently surfaced on WikiLeaks, the Guardian reported, citing the Politico.

According to the draft copy of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter, the 90-page document, leaked to the paper by a critic of the trade deal, contains the draft proposal as it stood on May 11, before the latest TPP talks in Guam.

The Politico reported that the TPP would block the sale of imported generic drugs, providing the supremacy of US based companies who already control market prices. This would increase the cost of healthcare, thus “restricting treatment for American patients,” the Politico reported.

“There’s very little distance between what Pharma wants and what the US is demanding,” the Politico cited Rohit Malpani, director of policy for Doctors Without Borders.

While the Obama administration refused to authenticate the leaked document, or discuss its contents directly, they said nothing in the drafts should be considered official until the entire deal has been finalized.

The leaked documents refer to the intellectual property aimed towards protecting the results of expensive research.

“These innovations could be severely hindered if IP protections are scaled back,” Jay Taylor, vice president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, told the Politico, adding that protection is “especially important in the area of biologic medicines, which could hold the key to unlocking treatments for diseases that have thwarted researchers for years.”

Malpani, of Doctors Without Borders, however fears that the TPP could set a dangerous precedent for future irreversible trade deals, which could include laws and regulations that would prevent pharmaceutical giants from being sued.

“We consider this the worst-ever agreement in terms of access to medicine,” he said. “It would create higher drug prices around the world—and in the US, too.”

In pushing for “fast-track” powers to negotiate with the TPP and other free-trade treaties, President Obama found himself backed by the Republicans and opposed by his own Democratic Party. Even presidential candidate Hillary Clinton marked “fast-track” authority as non-democratic, however, both the House and the Senate passed a bill.

Under the terms of the law, Congress will be able to approve or reject the treaties, but not offer amendments.