Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2011) — PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani today made the following statement hailing the announcement by the Working Party on Russia’s Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva that an agreement on Russian accession has been reached:
“We congratulate the negotiators for their hard work over the past 18 years to reach this milestone. We look forward to the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference where Russia will be formally invited to join the organization.
“PhRMA and its members strongly support this initiative and are confident that Russian WTO accession will lead to a greatly improved business climate in that country. Unfortunately, to date, Russia’s intellectual property (IP) protection has been lacking. But we are strongly encouraged by the inclusion of the provision of six years of regulatory data protection – a provision critical to both to the ability of Russian patients to gain access to new and innovative medicines and our industry’s ability to protect its IP.
“Going forward, we urge the Administration and the Congress to quickly reach agreement on and pass the legislation necessary for U.S. companies to take advantage of this welcome development. At the same time, we note the importance of ensuring that Russia meets all of its commitments including those related to intellectual property rights (IPR). Intellectual property is critical to the continued success of the United States’ innovative biopharmaceutical research industry that supports more than four million U.S. jobs. We firmly believe that it is critical for potential WTO members to demonstrate their willingness to provide robust IP protections as well as their ability to enforce them.
“PhRMA and its members stand ready to work with U.S. officials to ensure these issues are addressed appropriately and extend an offer of assistance to Russian officials to ensure they are able to comply with their obligations under the WTO.”
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