by TESSEL MELLEMA and ALIÉNOR DEVALIÈRE, EU Policy Advisors
(UPDATE at 5:15 p.m. on 9 June: The European Parliament vote on TTIP has been postponed to a later date.)
It’s going to be a big day in Strasbourg tomorrow (10 June) as Members of the European Parliament vote on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) resolution.
To ensure TTIP doesn’t harm access to safe and affordable medicines in the European Union, Health Action International is urging Members of the European Parliament to support the following amendments—particularly amendment 27, which would rid TTIP of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) entirely:
Support AM 109 (and AM 23 if AM 109 falls)
Justification: Ensures that already high standards of intellectual property protection in the European Union will not be further increased through TTIP to the detriment of access to medicines. Stronger IP (patent) protection will result in longer monopoly protection periods that increase the price of medicines. This puts a further strain on already overburdened health care systems in EU Member States.
Support AM 93 (and AM 18 if AM 93 falls)
Justification (1): Ensures that nothing in TTIP will limit the obligation to publish clinical trial data in the newly adopted European Union Clinical Trial Regulation. Public access to clinical trial data with key information on the effects of medicines, both good and bad, is crucial to strengthen evidence-based medicine and the protection of public health. Moreover, secrecy of trial data could lead to unethical repetition of clinical trials of harmful medicines on human subjects.
Justification (2): Ensures that European Union Member States will retain full freedom to tailor pricing and reimbursement policies to ensure long term sustainable access to medicines for their citizens.
Support AM 27 (and AM 106 if AM 27 falls) – No ISDS in TTIP
Justification: Using ISDS, American pharmaceutical companies could sue any European Union Member State, arguing that the government’s measures to promote access to medicines (such as price controls, reimbursement decisions, marketing approvals and pharmacovigilance decisions, or stricter patentability standards) will damage their investments protected by intellectual property rights in the European Union.
Follow @HAImedicines on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the results of the vote and our reaction to it.