Press Release

PhRMA Urges TPP Negotiators to Adopt Strong IP Framework

PhRMA March 5, 2013

SINGAPORE (March 4, 2013) –The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today called on nations participating in the 16th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to prioritize the protection of intellectual property, citing the critical importance of strong IP to develop innovative treatments for diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to cancer and diabetes. Additionally, as multiple studies have proven over time, IP is the lifeblood of innovation and directly contributes to job creation, worldwide economic growth and patient access to medicine.

“Innovators in biomedicine and the biosciences are increasingly on the cusp of major breakthroughs that will literally redefine how we care for patients today,” said Jay Taylor, PhRMA Vice President of International Affairs. “A weak IP framework within TPP would create uncertainty at a time when we need to be doing more to champion researchers and innovators who rely on strong protections. U.S. law recognizes this, and we urge all parties to embrace the vast benefits of a straightforward, responsible and pro-innovation approach to intellectual property.”

Currently comprised of the United States and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, the TPP is a major free trade agreement that further links America’s economic interests with those of the Asia-Pacific region. A TPP agreement that builds on the strong IP protections in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement will open new markets to U.S. firms seeking to increase exports and grow jobs here at home, while enhancing America’s ability to compete on the world stage.

PhRMA and its member companies are calling for specific IP provisions dealing with biologic medicines, including 12 years of data protection that reflect U.S. law. Biologics are complex, large-molecule medicines made with living tissue that are already being used to treat cancer and diabetes and may hold the key to unlocking new cures for disease. Millions of people have benefitted from biologic medicines, and a survey found more than 900 biotechnology medicines in development for over 100 diseases. These include 352 medicines for cancer, 188 for infectious diseases, 69 for autoimmune diseases and 39 for AIDS/HIV related conditions.

“When nations take the necessary steps to promote innovation and ensure policies encourage research and development, it fosters economic growth and creates jobs,” said Taylor. “Here in Singapore, we’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of a nation’s commitment to developing innovative industries to spur economic growth. That simply cannot happen without rock-solid and enforceable intellectual property protections for innovators.” 

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested over $500 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 alone.

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