The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Intellectual Property, Public Health, and Access to Essential Medicines
Intellectual Property Journal, Vol. 29, 277-332, 2017
56 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2017 Last revised: 18 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 3, 2017
The mega-regional agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, put forward a radical model for the regulation of intellectual property and access to medicines across the Pacific Rim. The trade agreement makes reference to the framework established by the TRIPS Agreement 1994, the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health 2001, and the WTO General Council Decision 2003 (which has been incorporated into the TRIPS Agreement 1994 as an amendment in 2017). Nonetheless, it does little to positively advance public health and access to medicines. The Trans-Pacific Partnership seeks to maximise the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical drug companies. The agreement has extensive provisions on patentable subject matter, patent standards, patent term extensions and evergreening, patent registration linkages, and border measures. There has also been controversy over measures related to data protection, the protection of biologics, and trade secrets. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Medicines have highlighted the need to ensure public health and access to medicines are not undercut by regional trade agreements, such as Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Keywords: Trans-Pacific Partnership, Intellectual Property, Public Health, Access to Essential Medicines, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Access to Medicines, Patent Law, Biologics, Data Protection, Trade Secrets, Health Transparency Annex
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation