WHO says TPP could limit access to generic drugs

The World Health Organization has declared the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact between 12 Pacific Rim countries, an obstacle to affordable medicine, according to Reuters.

The TPP has not yet been ratified by member governments, which include Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Singapore and others. The deal would cut trade barriers and create standards for 40 percent of the world economy, its backers say, according to the report.

However, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the deal raises "some very serious concerns," according to the report. She cited high drug prices as one such concern, according the report.

Others, such as leaders in India's pharmaceuticals industry, who are not part of the deal, have voiced concern about the deal blocking manufacturers of generic drugs who are outside the deal area, according to the report.

If the TPP passes, it would be a major achievement for President Barack Obama and a major counter to China's rising economic power, though many U.S. groups and lawmakers have voiced concerns about the text of the law, according to the report.


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