US, Australia & Canada Decide Screw Over Poor Nations Because Big Pharma's Not Happy With TPP

from the isn't-that-nice dept

With the conclusion of the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement now in place, there has been some ridiculous whining from the pharmaceutical industry which got almost everything it wanted in the agreement, but wasn't quite able to get a few things, including a 12 year patent-like exclusivity on biologics. And, because of that hissy fit, apparently, the USTR and its counterparts in Australia and Canada have agreed to help out Big Pharma in another arena. Jamie Love is reporting that this week there's a meeting at the WTO this week to explore granting a special exemption on patent rules for developing nations (i.e., those who often need drugs the most, while also being the least likely to be able to afford them). It's silly to enforce patents in these countries, because doing so would not only lead to almost no business at all, but (more importantly) because lots of people will die or, at the very least, suffer needlessly.

But, because Big Pharma is upset about the TPP, the USTR and others have decided that they "can't" agree to anything that might upset Pharma. Talk about a bunch of captured government officials...
On Friday, 9 October 2015, Ambassador Punke met with representatives from 15 countries (including 5 Ambassadors) from the LDC Group. Ambassador Punke clearly indicated that the US could not agree on an indefinite exemption because certain stakeholders in the United States were quite upset with concessions made by USTR during the final stages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Informed sources noted that the US indicated that "the TPP did not deliver as expected on IP and so we are under a lot of pressure not to give in more on IP."
How far the pharma industry has come from the days when George Merck declared: "We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear. The better we have remembered it, the larger they have been."

And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?

Filed Under: developing nations, drug prices, ldc, patents, pharma, pharmaceuticals, tpp, wto


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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 9:37am

    "And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?"

    Easy. They own stock.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      "Easy. They own stock"

      That's rather simplistic. The real reason't isn't likely because they own stock (though it's not out of the realm of possibility), it's because our officials have been sold on a game theoretic view of world relations that ties the economic success of our corporations with our ability (as a nation) to command power and influence in the world.

      It's a zero-sum game to them.

      That's why, for example, the NSA has been directed to spy on climate negotiations. Not because Exxon put something in Obama's ear, but because too fast of a course on climate negotiations is bad for us economically, and thus reduces our influence in the world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 12:54pm

        What's good for Big Pharma is good for America?

        I thought we wised up to that notion after Ford tried to pull it off.

        You know, during the Great Depression Ford was one of the fat boys playing cards with Hoover.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re:

        I think it's more proof of how much bigger industry has become compared to governments and pharma is flexing it's muscles.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:16am

    Nice name for the ambassador

    Personally, I think his name would be more consistent with his behaviour if he spelled it Punk, but at least his current spelling likely has the same pronunciation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Agonistes (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:17am

    What I can't understand is how the Cato Institute, usually a very reasonable and logical bunch of guys (as think-tanky guys go at least), seems to be all for this crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:17am

    "And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?"

    Money. Pools of money. That, and lots of *Copyrighted, Trademarked and Patented Drug name here* help them sleep.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:19am

    And so the death toll will rise, as well as the prices , big pharma has no conscious they won't stop until shareholders stop them shareholders aren't blameless and should be held held accountable as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:22am

    If this helps to bring down the entirety of the deal then let it be. It would be awesome to see their own greed screw up things.

    On a side note, Merck didn't take into account collective, unhindered greed from those in power positions when he said that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtf, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:37am

    really now?

    So my question is, when are they restarting the Nuremberg trials?

    I hear say that Russia will be bidding on the prisons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtf, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:37am

    really now?

    So my question is, when are they restarting the Nuremberg trials?

    I hear say that Russia will be bidding on the prisons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtf, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:37am

    really now?

    So my question is, when are they restarting the Nuremberg trials?

    I hear say that Russia will be bidding on the prisons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 11:43am

    So its only a matter of time before they start bombing hospitals because they dont comply with their greedy laws?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    silverscarcat (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 1:03pm

    How do they sleep at night?

    Simple.

    On piles of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 13 Oct 2015 @ 1:22pm

    Saving lives for-profit is a fucked up business model, just like for-profit prisons. It puts any company on the smelly side of human nature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtf, 13 Oct 2015 @ 2:31pm

    really now?

    So my question is, when are they restarting the Nuremberg trials?

    I hear say that Russia will be bidding on the prisons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 4:16pm

    People didn't ask for the TPP.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 5:22pm

    I see this kind of crap right here at home. Take grocery stores as an example. The same grocery store chain in the same city, just two different stores on different sides of town. The prices in the store on the poor side of town are higher than the prices in the store on the well to do side of town. Don't wonder why people are snapping and doing crazy things, the system is rigged by the wealthy against the poor. I earn under thirty thousand dollars a year here in the good old US of a. I pay income taxes on that money. Big american corporations stash hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to avoid paying taxes on that money, and it just sits there collecting interest. Seems Mr Obama's preacher was correct, "God Damn America".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 5:32pm

    Anyone else feel like TPP is going to cause a massive war. I cannot imagine how they are going to enforce this unless it is at the point of a gun.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2015 @ 6:28pm

    "And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?"

    In silk sheets, rolling naked in money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 7:38pm

    Sociopathic children

    So not only do they care more about profits than lives, they also throw tantrums when they don't get everything they want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Oct 2015 @ 7:54pm

      Re: Sociopathic children

      You know the Ottoman Empire had exactly the same problem when they started throwing princes into the Kafes. When they were allowed out and required to rule, they were positively mad and ill prepared for statesmanship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 14 Oct 2015 @ 7:30am

    And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?

    Horlicks. With all those bribes, I mean, campaign donations and favours, flying about, they can easily afford to buy it by the barrel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 15 Oct 2015 @ 11:25pm

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

    "And, really, how do the folks who work at the USTR sleep at night knowing that they're doing this for no reason other than to help out the profits of a few giant companies at the expense of the public?"

    That's an easy one.

    They sleep great because they count themselves to sleep each night.

    $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, $80,000, $90,000, $100,000, $110,000, $120,000, $130,000, $140,000, $150,000, $160,000, $170,000, $180,000...

    Adding up one's ill-gotten gains has always been a perfect method of inducing sleep for villains, thieves, scoundrels and politicians throughout human history.

    In fact, due precisely to the incredibly large amounts of money they need to count each day, those who fuck over the masses for a living, generally sleep better than any other sector of humanity.

    It is also truly amazing how exhausting cocaine and bimbos can be, not to mention yacht maintenance.

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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