The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: challenges for Australian health and medicine policies

Med J Aust. 2011 Jan 17;194(2):83-6.

Abstract

Four formal rounds of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations took place in 2010. They involved over 200 officials from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia. Future negotiations officially are set to include three issues with public health and medicines policy implications for Australia and our region: ways to approach regulatory coherence and transparency; how to benefit multinational and small-medium enterprises; and multilateral investor-state dispute settlement. US-based multinational pharmaceutical companies are lobbying for TPPA provisions like those in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, which reduce government cost-effectiveness regulatory control of pharmaceuticals, threatening equitable access to medicines. They also advocate increased TPPA intellectual monopoly privilege protection, which will further limit the development of Australian generic medicine enterprises and restrict patient access to cheap, bioequivalent prescription drugs. Of particular concern is that proposed TPPA multilateral investor-state dispute settlement procedures would allow US corporations (as well as those of other TPPA nations) to obtain damages against Australian governments through international arbitral proceedings if their investments are impeded by Australian public health and environment protection legislation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australasia
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Environmental Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Public Health / legislation & jurisprudence