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Critics Slam IP Rules In Pacific Trade Pact

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December 23, 2015

In negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), intellectual property provisions are proving to be a major bone of contention. A legal analyst for the medical group Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) told Radio Canada International that rules now being discussed would be “catastrophic” and will mean “unnecessary death and suffering for millions.” Canada’s newly elected government has promised to take a close look at the TPP agreement and hold public hearings before ratification. Especially contentious are the provisions concerning the duration (currently under consideration: five to seven years) for data protection for original patent holders of drugs poised to become available as biosimilars, according to a report in PRI’s The World. Without the data that formed the basis for approval, biosimilar manufacturers would have to do their own testing, which would effectively preclude a viable product. But what critics say is too long a time period for data protection, the pharmaceutical industry says is too short, according to an article in The Hill.

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