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
Date Written: June 27, 2016
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
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