If enacted, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will promote economic growth in the United States and 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region by reducing protectionist trade barriers. The agreement will also set rules in areas other than trade policy, including minimum standards of patent protection in all member countries. These patent rules have led many groups to criticize the TPP and other similar agreements for increasing the cost of drugs in poor countries. Some proponents of the agreement counter by noting the importance of patent protection both for promoting the development of new drugs and for driving growth in high-tech industries.
The most controversial pharmaceutical provision in the TPP has been a requirement to provide a greater period of exclusivity to a special class of drugs known as biologics. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry has complained that the TPP’s biologic provision is not strict enough, and powerful members of Congress may prevent the TPP’s ratification unless something can be done to strengthen the rule.
Are the TPP’s patent rules too strong, too weak, or just right? Come hear our expert panel discuss what the TPP will do, or should do, to shape the global pharmaceutical market.