Document Type



The recently negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) contains provisions that would dramatically and negatively impact access to affordable medicines in the United States and elsewhere if it is ratified. Provisions in the Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter of TPP lengthen, broaden, and strengthen patent-related monopolies on medicine and erect new monopoly protections on regulatory data as well. IP Chapter enforcement provisions also mandate injunctions preventing medicines sales, increase damage awards, and expand confiscation of medicines at the border. IP rightholders gain new powers in the Investment Chapter to bring private, IP-related investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) damage claims directly against foreign governments before unreviewable, three-person arbitration panels. Unrestricted IP-investor damage claims deter countries’ willingness to render adverse IP decisions and to adopt IP policy flexibilities designed to increase access to affordable medicines. The Transparency Chapter contains provisions that allow pharmaceutical companies more access to government decisions listing medicines and medical devices for reimbursement. At the very least, these multiple TPP provisions that extend pharmaceutical powers should be scaled back to the minimum consensus standards reached in the 1994 World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Health advocates should convince the US Congress and opponents in other countries to reject an agreement that could so adversely impact access to medicines.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Intellectual Property

Original Citation

Brook K. Baker, Trans-Pacific Partnership Provisions in Intellectual Property, Transparency, and Investment Chapters Threaten Access to Medicines in the US and Elsewhere, 13 PLoS Med (2016).