WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2017) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Vice President Jay Taylor issued the following statement today:
“America’s biopharmaceutical innovators lead the world in the
research, development and manufacture of valuable new medicines. They
support more than 4 million jobs across the country. Effective
intellectual property protection abroad and fair access to overseas
markets are essential to continue the work of bringing new treatments
and cures to patients who need them.
“But as today’s Special 301 Report makes clear, India,
Indonesia and other countries are failing to protect American ideas,
brands and inventions. U.S. free trade agreement partners like Canada
and Colombia are among the worst offenders. Urgent action is needed to
hold these countries to their global and bilateral commitments and to
ensure innovators in the United States can compete on a level playing
“Countries highlighted in the 2017 Special 301 Report are
preventing innovators from securing patents, enforcing patents and
protecting regulatory test data. India and Indonesia do not even provide
patents for many kinds of new medicines. Canadian courts have struck
down patents on 25 medicines that have benefitted Canadian patients and
enjoy patent protection in many other countries around the world.
Colombia fails to value and protect innovation and is slowing the launch
of new medicines by delaying review of biopharmaceutical patents.
“Intense bilateral engagement is also needed to remedy serious
and growing concerns in certain other countries. For example, contrary
to its U.S. trade agreement obligations, the Australian Government is
discouraging effective patent enforcement by seeking hundreds of
millions of dollars in damages from biopharmaceutical innovators that
pursued unsuccessful patent claims. This practice comes against the
backdrop of an otherwise rapidly deteriorating environment for
innovators in Australia.
“Discriminatory market access barriers, including
non-transparent government pricing and reimbursement policies, undermine
the value of intellectual property and weaken incentives to invest in
the development of new medicines. Intellectual property rights that spur
drug development and efforts to ensure that patients have access to
those new drugs go hand in hand with improving health care and patient
outcomes. These sorts of discriminatory practices not only impact U.S.
jobs and our innovative economy, but patients here and around the world
who are waiting for the next generation of cures.
“The Special 301 Report is an essential tool to engage
America’s trading partners on intellectual property and market access
challenges in overseas markets that are harming American innovators,
patients, and workers. PhRMA members look forward to working with USTR
and other U.S. government agencies to address and resolve these and
other unfair and discriminatory trade practices around the world.”
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents
the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research 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 more than half a trillion
dollars in the search for new treatments and cures, including an
estimated $58.8 billion in 2015 alone.
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