The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, intellectual property protection, and access to medicines

Townsend, Belinda, Gleeson, Deborah and Lopert, Ruth 2016, The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, intellectual property protection, and access to medicines, Asia Pacific journal of public health, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 682-693, doi: 10.1177/1010539516676338.

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Title The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, intellectual property protection, and access to medicines
Author(s) Townsend, Belinda
Gleeson, Deborah
Lopert, Ruth
Journal name Asia Pacific journal of public health
Volume number 28
Issue number 8
Start page 682
End page 693
Total pages 12
Publisher Sage
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Publication date 2016-11-01
ISSN 1010-5395
Keyword(s) trade agreements
intellectual property
access to medicines
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Summary The inclusion of elevated standards of intellectual property (IP) 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 IP provisions proposed by Japan and South Korea raise similar concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. This article identifies TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement)-Plus provisions in leaked negotiating texts and examines their implications for LMICs that are not also parties to the TPP: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, China, and India. We find that higher levels of IP protection delay the market entry of generic medicines, giving rise to increased costs to governments and reduced access to essential medicines. The article concludes that the public health community should recognize risks inherent in trade agreements that promote expansions of IP rights and engage with governments to ensure that public health is adequately and explicitly protected in trade and investment negotiations.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1010539516676338
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, APJPH
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