Anyone who has to struggle with rising costs of medical care, prescription drugs, and medical devices should pay very close attention to the ultra-secret “Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement” supported and implemented by the Obama administration.
New Deal Helps Entities, Not Consumers
This Trans-Pacific Partnership deal could potentially cause a massive rise in drug prices, as well as the already high prices of crucial medical devices for patients around the world. The U.S Pharmaceutical companies have know about this deal long enough to spend company time shaping elements of the deal to increase their profits; now it’s time for the people of the world who rely on new medical technology and medication to survive to be given the information they need to ensure they can still afford these necessities.
The drug companies in the U.S make up a large part of the group of 600 advisers from the corporate sector that is responsible for writing the body of the new trade agreement. This agreement will benefit the drug companies by
- Extending drug patents
- Preventing competition from generic, low-cost drugs
- Granting intellectual property controls on drugs and medical devices
- Raising prices of select prescription drugs by up to 50%.
The Secret Heard (And Feared) Around The World
In a report which aired on Radio New Zealand, Medicines Sans Frontiers, a medical non-government group stated they greatly feared that the secret Trans-Pacific deal would shoot drug prices to reprehensible, unaffordable levels.
Secret talks regarding the deal finished up in Malaysia last week. According to the Straits Times, 14 peaceful protesters were arrested during the 18th round of talks; arrested for expressing their fears of medical monopoly by a few extremely powerful, multinational corporations.
Twelve countries have participated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement talks that could greatly affect drug prices as well as the lives of the American people.
- The United States
- New Zealand
- and Singapore.
This is not the first time the talks have occurred. George W. Bush vied for this trade agreement, but dropped the issue in 2008, after three talks. The TPP trade agreement was picked back up by President Obama in 2009. If the deal is signed, it will historically be the largest trade agreement ever negotiated, and 40% of the global economy will be represented by these measures.
Overcome Secrecy, Be Informed
Only a handful of the members of congress, including Rep. Alan Grayson, Florida, have been allowed to look over the draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Grayson was not surprised that the trade agreement was kept secret after he finished reading the draft. It appears that consumers may have to take matters into their own hands if they want to be able to afford their prescription drugs and medical devices.
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About this Angie’s List Expert: Cary Byrd is the president and founder of eDrugSearch.com. Based in San Antonio, eDrugSearch.com is a free cost comparison engine that helps consumers get safe access to affordable medications and advocates licensed online pharmacies as a widely accepted alternative.
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