Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2012) — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released the following statement today on the Special 301 Report issued by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
“Maintaining global incentives for research and development into new medicines is essential for continued innovation of treatments for improving the health and lives of patients. Worldwide respect for intellectual property is the engine that will enable patients around the globe to receive the benefits of future discoveries of life-saving medicines. This is particularly important for patients around the world who are waiting for the more than 3,000 medicines currently in development by PhRMA member companies.
“The Special 301 process continues to be effective in gaining high-level attention from our trading partners -- attention that is needed to redress intellectual property violations and market access concerns. The 2012 report particularly notes that USTR has sought to reduce market access barriers that U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device companies face in many countries, and to facilitate both affordable health care today and the innovation that assures improved health care tomorrow.
“Protecting American intellectual property is important to the U.S. economy. Effective protection of IP is a critical element of meeting President Obama's objective of doubling US exports over the next five years. For these reasons PhRMA and our members place a high priority on addressing the harm caused by inadequate IP protection and by the market access barriers put in place by some U.S. trading partners. PhRMA and our members appreciate the continuing efforts underway at all levels by USTR, the Departments of State and Commerce, and the effective advocacy of U.S. overseas missions to promote compliance with international obligations.
“The value of IP protection should not be undermined by discriminatory market access barriers, including discriminatory government pricing and reimbursement policies. We welcome USTR’s recognition of market access barriers faced by U.S. pharmaceutical companies and their efforts to eliminate them in many countries in order to provide for affordable health care today and support the innovation that assures improved health care tomorrow.
“PhRMA members look forward to working with the staff of the USTR as they continue to represent the interests of U.S. consumers, patients, workers and industry by addressing unfair trade practices in key countries around the world.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.
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For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For information on ensuring the flow of medicines during public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org