---- Louka Katseli, Chairwoman, National Bank of Greece.
The draft copy of the intellectual property chapter of the trade agreement as it stood on May 11, before the Guam negotiating round, includes what is known as 'patent-linkage' provisions which would prevent regulators in TPP countries approving generic versions of drugs whenever there were unresolved patent issues, the Washington-based Politico website reported.
The draft would make linkage mandatory, as it is in the US, allowing drug companies to fend off generics by claiming patent infringements, the website reported. It cited Heather Bresch, chief executive of generic drug maker Mylan, as saying mandatory patent linkage would amount to "a recipe for indefinite evergreening of pharmaceutical monopolies."
The issue of generic drugs is sensitive in New Zealand because drug-buying agency Pharmac takes advantage of the availability of generic versions of medicines to reduce the cost to Kiwis. Generics are made after a brand-name drug comes off patent and typically when the developer's right to keep research secret expires.
The rest is a little sobering...
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