The State of the Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Barack Obama is expected to push for finalization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in tonight's State of the Union address. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical humanitarian organization, is deeply concerned that unless damaging provisions are removed before negotiations are finalized, the TPP agreement could become the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines in developing countries. Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led TPP would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health. Doctors Without Borders relies on affordable generic medicines to treat hundreds of thousands of patients in programs all over the world.

Quote from Judit Rius Sanjuan, U.S. Access Campaign manager for Doctors Without Borders

"The TPP continues to be a raw deal for half a billion people who need access to affordable medicines, both in developing countries and here in the U.S. The USTR has made some superficial changes to the TPP in response to the growing criticism from negotiating partners, but the worst aspects of this trade deal remain. Members of Congress must not rubber-stamp such a far-reaching, potentially catastrophic trade agreement unless it ensures that public health will not be traded away. We implore the USTR to remove damaging and egregious intellectual property provisions that would forever alter patients' ability to access affordable generic medicines."