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Lesli Messinger Trans Pacific Partnership Obama's secret trade deal threatens prescription drug prices on global scale
Saturday, 27 July 2013 00:00

Obama's secret trade deal threatens prescription drug prices on global scale

Written by  prescription drug prices on global scale Kota Kinabalu : Malaysia | All Voices

The US pharmaceutical industry has been shaping elements of the Obama administration’s secret Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement to favor their own profits. But the deal could also could cause the price of prescription drugs and some medical devices to soar on a global scale.

Radio New Zealand reports, “The medical non-government organization, Medicines Sans Frontiers, says it fears the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal could push the cost of drugs to prohibitive levels.”

Leaked documents show that US drug companies, who are among the 600 US corporate advisers writing the trade agreement, are trying to extend patents on prescription drugs and prevent competition from less-expensive generic drugs through intellectual property (IP) controls.

If US drug companies get the protections they want in the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, some drug prices are set to rise as much 50 percent, according to a United Nations development study.

A massive increase in drug prices, along with extended IP monopolies on medical devices, like new pacemakers, could make them so expensive that many people could simply not afford them, even if their lives were in the balance.

The secret talks wrapped up their 18th round in Malaysia last week, where more than a dozen protesters were arrested expressing concerns that the TPP deal will give multinational corporations too much power.

“Malaysian activists have staged several protests against the deal, fearing it will compromise the country’s sovereignty and calling on the government to disclose details on the agreement,” according to The Straits Times.

The TPP negotiations were dropped by the George W. Bush administration in 2008 after just three rounds of talks, but were revived in 2009 after Obama took office.

There are currently 12 countries involved in the TPP talks; the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan.

If the deal is signed, it will be the largest trade deal ever negotiated, representing 40 percent of the global economy.

The extreme secrecy surrounding the TPP talks have some US lawmakers worried that they will sign away the sovereign rights of America to multinational corporations, who will exploit workers, cost more than 500,000 US jobs in the textile industry alone, and cause irreparable environmental damage.

Under “investor state” and corporate “stakeholder” provisions, a foreign tribunal can virtually guarantee corporate profits at taxpayers’ expense.

Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida is one of the few members of Congress allowed to see a preliminary draft of the TPP.

After viewing the deal, Grayson told the Washington Times, “It is easy to understand why this NAFTA-style agreement has been kept secret. The TPP is a disturbing attack on American democracy and sovereignty. It puts corporate interests ahead of American interests.”

Link to original article from All Voices

Read 3616 times Last modified on Saturday, 26 October 2013 16:06

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

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ERA Legislation in your State

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Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

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Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

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Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

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Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of