The negotiations and compromises leading up to the historic agreement, however, have also highlighted a growing issue-how trade treaties can affect people’s access to healthcare and medicines; with techniques that aren’t always for the better. Locknie Hsu, a professor of law at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law, is thinking about the intricacies of such treaties particularly. She specializes in international trade and investment law, and is part of an operating group of ASEAN representatives that seeks to facilitate cross-border trade by harmonizing commercial laws across these countries.

During the discussions for the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, the US needed strong intellectual property protections for biologic medications, which are expensive medicines produced from living organisms. THE UNITED STATES wanted 12 many years of data exclusivity for biologics makers, during which rivals would be clogged from creating ‘biosimilars’, or cheaper variations of the medication. But critics think that too-stringent protections stifle competition and prevent affordable medications from entering the marketplace earlier.

Australia, for instance, needed five years of data protection for biologics manufacturers just. The recently released TPP text reveals a compromise that has been struck on the duration of protection. Another potential issue in trade treaties is when Parts of Asia take differing methods to compulsory licensing, she says. Compulsory licensing identifies when government authorities allow another company to produce a product without the patent owner’s consent, but with the settlement. For example, a country may need a potentially life-saving drug as quickly as possible however the patent holder may be incapable or unwilling to meet up with the demand.

  • The goals and objectives must be realistic
  • Avoid direct evaluation by giving something apart from what they requested
  • Shrink earnings to get out of low margin contracts
  • 6 years ago from New England

In recent years, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia have used compulsory licensing for copyrighted pharmaceuticals, although not without some legal challenges by the patent holders. Thailand, specifically, has used compulsory licensing even for drugs to treat non-infectious diseases. Singapore, on the other hand, has announced that it will use compulsory licensing only in emergencies or extremely urgent situations. From making sure the public has access to affordable medicines Aside, governments have to modify harmful substances such as tobacco also.

This, too, can be considered a source of tension in trade discussions, Professor Hsu feedback in a recently available monograph chapter, “Tobacco Control in ASEAN”, released in the written reserve The Global Tobacco Epidemic and the Law. ASEAN countries use a variety of fiscal and non-fiscal tools such as excise taxes and value-added, or services and goods, taxes to control tobacco use among their citizens. Complicating matters is the fact that some ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand are tobacco growers also. In fact, the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM), a state enterprise, operates under the Ministry of Finance.

Thai rules previously granted TTM a monopoly to produce smoking within Thailand, but this changed following pressure from the country’s trade partners, like the US. The tobacco issue was a point of contention during the TPP discussions also. A number of the negotiating countries, like the US and Japan, have strong private interests in tobacco production and export. Other countries such as Malaysia were adamant that the offer shouldn’t compromise governments’ ability to regulate tobacco use as part of public health protection efforts.