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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 19 - 25  > RCEP would oust developing nations from access to generics
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2017 April 19 - 25 [ECONOMY]

RCEP would oust developing nations from access to generics

April 21, 2017
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Inoue Satoshi at a meeting of the House of Councilors’ committee on foreign affairs on April 20 warned that the reinforcement of the protection of intellectual property rights of medicines as being discussed among East Asian states could hamper developing countries’ access to inexpensive generics.

At present, 16 nations, including Japan, China, and South Korea, are negotiating on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, seeking to incorporate a provision that would enhance the intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.

If included, it would only benefit major pharmaceutical companies and would impose restraints on pharmaceutical companies in other countries to develop generics, having a serious effect on such patients as HIV and malaria sufferers in developing countries in need of affordable drugs.

Japan promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which call for “access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all”.

JCP Inoue pointed out, “Bolstering intellectual property protection to meet the pharmaceutical industry’s demand is inconsistent with the UN SDGs.”

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