Health and patient advocates have raised concerns regarding certain provisions in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement that they argue could limit access to affordable drugs, as reported The Times of India.
Medecins Sans Frontieres noted that the intellectual property provisions could restrict access to essential medicines for millions of people across Asia and the world.
"Unless negotiators remove harmful provisions from RCEP, this trade deal is set to follow the dangerous path of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is recognised globally as the worst trade deal ever for access to medicines," commented Medecins Sans Frontieres' Leena Menghaney.
"The RCEP trade deal threatens to undermine India and China's role as major suppliers of generic medicines for people in the developing world, including both low-and middle-income countries such as Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand," added Belinda Townsend of the Public Health Association of Australia.
"If RCEP imposes high levels of intellectual property protection, these countries could lose their capacity to increase access to affordable medicines for their populations," Townsend continued.
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