afffordable medicinesafffordable medicinesFrom the moment he took office, United States President Donald J. Trump expressed his willingness to direct the US administration to pursue, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations instead of multilateral negotiations.

This January, he signed a Presidential Memorandum regarding the Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement, also called TPP. The TPP agreement was originally signed by twelve member countries including the US, on February 4, 2016, but some of them have not yet ratified it.

The remaining 11 Countries involved in the negotiations are starting to fear that other members will withdraw from the TPP, which originally aimed to cut trade barriers in some of East Asia’s fastest-growing economies.

One area in which the TPP is particularly innovative concerns the protection of intellectual property rights in many commercial sectors, including the pharmaceutical sector, thus making the access to lower-price generic medicines more restricted and difficult for member countries.

For this reason, the health community is concerned about the possible outcomes of the new TPP11 negotiations, following the withdrawal of the US and demands for a more inclusive renegotiation of the terms of the Agreement taking into account the public health needs of countries involved.

On August 25th, sixty-seven health organizations, including The World Federation of Public Health Associations, published an open letter to make their views known to their governments calling to promote health, protect people and guarantee access to affordable medicines in all TPP11 countries.

The WFPHA has been advocating to promote health and well-being, protect populations and prevent diseases for more than 50 years as in its #GlobalCharter for the Public’s Health. It is now time for governments to take into account this approach in their trade and international negotiations!

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