Public health groups say Big Pharma has privileged access to TPP talks
April 8 2015, Harriet Alexander writes in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and Canberra Times that the peak lobby group for American pharmaceutical manufacturers has been given privileged access to negotiations for a major regional trade pact that could see the cost of medicines skyrocket in Australia.
Public health advocates and business groups are concerned that pharmaceutical giants will be able to advance their commercial interests in the once-in-a-lifetime pact through their seat at the negotiating table, while the details are kept secret from the Australian public.
Public Health Association spokeswoman Deborah Gleeson said the negotiating text should be made available to everybody, as it was for other trade pacts such as the World Trade Organisation drafts and anti-counterfeiting agreement."US corporations have a much higher level of access to what's going on in the negotiations and to the text itself, whereas health and community organisations are reliant on the leaked drafts for information," Dr Gleeson said.
Some of the measures that Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has publicly lobbied to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership have subsequently appeared in draft versions of the agreement that have been leaked by Wikileaks.