Free Trade Agreements
Current U.S. intellectual property laws governing the pharmaceutical market have helped maintain an effective balance between protecting intellectual property that incentivizes the innovation of new medicines and supporting access to affordable generic medicine. So that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) do not disrupt this balance, GPhA believes that the terms of these agreements should not provide more intellectual rights to brand companies than afforded under U.S. law. Correspondingly, FTAs should include provisions that support consumer access to affordable generic medicines. GPhA supports the progress made in recent U.S. trade policy that helps maintain the innovation-access balance. GPhA urges the U.S. Trade Representative to work with Congress to make certain that future FTAs protect this balance.
- The U.S. has built a strong healthcare system by fostering a balance between new drug innovation and access to affordable generic drugs. Unfortunately, past FTAs have upset this balance by "cherry-picking" features of the U.S. system, such as provisions designed to enhance the brand pharmaceutical sector while dampening generic competition.
- Future FTAs should put the consumer interest of having access to affordable generics on an equal footing with the protection of pharmaceutical innovation
- Any reauthorization of Trade Promotion Authority should restore the balance in past FTAs between innovation and access to affordable generics through robust competition.
- FTAs should not delay timely access to generic medicines by providing brand pharmaceutical companies with greater intellectual property rights than they currently have under U.S. law.
GPhA works closely with the White House and Congress to ensure that the bipartisan agreement on trade policy represented a positive step forward for our nation’s international commerce. GPhA advocates for free trade agreements that promote competition and build a vibrant pharmaceutical industry.
With respect to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, GPhA has been successful in blocking U.S. Trade Representative plans to adopt the 12-year exclusivity period for biologics.
GPhA is releasing a study in 2013 that will demonstrate the consequences of the proposed TPP text for the generic industry. The study will focus on the effect of patent extensions and exclusivity period of data for New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Peru.
Leaders in the U.S. and European Union have established the High Level Working Group (HLWG) on jobs and growth. The Group is tasked to identify policies and measures to increase trade and investment that support mutually beneficial job creation, economic growth, and competitiveness. In the fall of 2012, GPhA made a joint submission with the European Generic medicines Association (EGA) urging that all trade agreements work to maintain a balance between protecting intellectual property which incentivizes the innovation of new medicines and enabling access to affordable generic medicines.