Peruvian Patients Reject TPP: Will Affect Their Access To Medication

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Leaks on the secret trade agreement, the TPP, are worrying social organizations that deal with health issues in Peru. They predict that the adoption of such a treaty will result in many deaths.

On Monday, after the release of new information by Wikileaks, social organizations defending the interests of health patients have spoken out against the TPP. Representatives from the Peruvian Network for Patients and Users claim the treaty will allow for pharmaceutical companies to dominate the use of a drug for decades.

The Trans Pacific-Partnership agreement (TPP) is a free trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret by 12 countries including Peru. One of the most controversial aspects of the treaty is the one that protects medicine patents, benefiting the interests of large pharmaceutical companies.

Julio Cesar Cruz, Coordinator of the Peruvian Network for Patients and Users stated that, “Apart from having a policy in the country that does not regulate prices, people are going to die because the state is not protecting access to medicine and if there is no access to medicine, the health of the person is going to deteriorate little by little and they will end up dead.”

Also, Javier LLamoza from the International Action for Health believes that, “If Peru accepts new intellectual property protection mechanisms, what it would be accepting is patents for second use.” In other words, it would allow for the protection of patents for an additional 20 years of extended time if there are new uses found for a product.

Llamoza also claims that by signing the TPP, Peru “would be accepting protection for biological products.” Such protections would increase the price of drugs from biological sources that are needed for cancer and rare diseases. LLamoza concludes that for those reasons “Peru should not accept the mechanisms.”

The TPP would be the largest ever economic treaty. It’s members, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Mexico, Chile, and Peru represent 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. However the deadline to sign it has been postponed indefinitely.