Call to remove IP clauses from trade pact [Economy]
As the next round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade talks begin in Vietnam, humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for the removal of intellectual property provisions — known as the TRIPS-plus provisions — from the agreement.
According to the MSF, the TRIPS-plus provisions like patent term extensions and data exclusivity could hinder access to affordable drugs.
The RCEP is a trade agreement being negotiated between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
The RCEP countries are home to nearly half the world’s population, including some of the most marginalised communities living in the three least-developed countries taking part in the trade negotiations.
Nearly two-thirds of all the drugs MSF purchases to treat HIV, TB and malaria across the world are generic medicines from India; data exclusivity provisions under RCEP could delay the entry of generic medicines.