MSF to Treat Less Patients Amid Potential TPP-Triggered Drug Price Hike

MSF to Treat Less Patients Amid Potential TPP-Triggered Drug Price Hike © AFP 2015/ Samir Bol

21:23 05.10.2015Get short URL
http://sputniknews.com/us/20151005/1028065341/adviser-msf-tpp-drug-price.html

Judit Rius, a legal policy adviser for the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) organization, said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement will have an immediate global impact, with medicine price increases, which “will make it much more difficult for MSF patients to have access to affordable medicines.”

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) organization will be forced to scale back the scope of its mission, resulting in less resources for treatment worldwide in light of the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, a legal policy adviser for MSF suggested to Sputnik on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the United States and eleven other countries of the Pacific-Rim region reached an agreement on the wording and subject matter of the TPP deal. Designed to cover about 40 percent of the global economy, the hotly debated deal almost stalled over the nine-day negotiations, due to discrepancies in member-country approaches to the length of copyright protections for new medicine.

According to Judit Rius, “there are two pharmaceutical companies in the US, they have managed to include into the agreement a package of provisions, which main impact is to extend the monopoly for pharmaceutical companies.”

She pointed out that the agreement will have an immediate global impact, with medicine price increases, which “will make it much more difficult for MSF patients to have access to affordable medicines.”

“We cannot fulfill our medical ambitions because of high prices of medicines, so I guess we will not be able to treat as many patients as we would like, and not be able to do as much as we would like,” Rius pointed out, stressing that medics will face on a daily basis “a difficult choice that we will have to do on patients’ lives.”

Uncertain implications of the deal for workers’ rights, employment, sovereignty, copyright and the environment have drawn heavy criticism from many members of government, as well as labor unions and watchdogs.

Besides the United States, the deal includes Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Brunei, Chile, Singapore and Malaysia. The TPP deal is expected to be voted on in the US Congress early in 2016.

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