The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Intellectual Property Protection and Access to Medicines

Asia Pacific J, Vol. 28, No. 8, November 2016

16 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Belinda Townsend

Belinda Townsend

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Deborah Gleeson

La Trobe University

Ruth Lopert

George Washington University - Department of Health Policy; LWC Policy Consulting Inc.

Date Written: June 27, 2016

Abstract

The inclusion of elevated standards of intellectual property protection in the recently negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement has raised serious public health concerns regarding access to medicines. A lesser-known trade agreement under negotiation in the Asia Pacific region is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Framed as an attempt to reassert ASEAN’s position in response to the United States-led TPP, RCEP includes key players China and India, as well as several low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Leaked drafts of intellectual property provisions proposed by Japan and South Korea raise similar concerns for access to medicines in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper identifies TRIPS-Plus provisions in leaked negotiating texts and examines their implications for those LMICs that are not also parties to the TPP: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, China, and India.

Keywords: trade agreements, intellectual property, access to medicines, pharmaceuticals, TRIPS, RCEP

Suggested Citation

Townsend, Belinda and Gleeson, Deborah and Lopert, Ruth, The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Intellectual Property Protection and Access to Medicines (June 27, 2016). Asia Pacific J, Vol. 28, No. 8, November 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2850294

Belinda Townsend (Contact Author)

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Deborah Gleeson

La Trobe University ( email )

School of Psychology and Public Health
Victoria, 3068
Australia
+61 3 9479 3262 (Phone)

Ruth Lopert

George Washington University - Department of Health Policy ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

LWC Policy Consulting Inc. ( email )

Washington, DC 20005

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