Weekly Current Affairs

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.