After a long dry spell, the pharmaceutical research industry has brought to market a spate of innovative treatments that can extend life and often have fewer side effects than older treatments. But these medicines are not affordable to most of the people who need them.
While opioid analgesics such as morphine are a cost-effective medication for treatment of moderate to severe pain related to cancer, HIV/AIDS, surgery, and other conditions, they are not adequately available in most developing countries.
If passed, the TPP would lock in policies that not only allow price gouging, but essentially require all TPP-signatory governments to provide monopoly rights allowing drug companies to charge whatever they want.
We must stand against the fast track in order to buy Congress the time and ability to revise the provisions on biologics and patent protection. And if we successfully stop the fast track, we must learn from these last few days that complacency is not an option.
We applaud the CFR report for drawing attention to NCDs in developing nations, but emphasize that, at this critical time, it neglected to address implications of U.S. trade pressures on the fundamental right of all people to access lifesaving medicines.
The good news is that the number of Americans who are uninsured (without health insurance) dropped eight percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. The bad news is that this means 41 million Americans are not insured.
No matter how long some of the most onerous provisions are delayed, the TPP in its current form will be a terrible deal for all countries involved. Negotiating countries must not be fooled by this so-called compromise from U.S. negotiators.
Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in the U.S., and there is much more we can do to address and prevent it. Chronic pain is serious too, and prohibiting access to much-needed treatment is not the answer to either problem.
We need to think differently about trade. First, let me say that I am 100% in favor of trade. Trade is when we do what we do best, they do what they do best, and we trade. Trade, done right, will raise living standards.
Tobacco regulation is just one example of how the TPP will have damaging effects on the world we live in. We need to expose the deadly flaws in these behind-closed-doors negotiations now, before it's too late.
The number 13 has long been linked to a belief of bad luck and misfortune. Well, today that superstition has changed. More importantly, if we do right by the number 13, we have the potential to save six million women and children over the next five years. How is that possible?