Canada urged to reject changes to pharmaceutical laws
A pharmacist technician dispenses prescription pills from a pill counter in this 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho)
Published Monday, July 15, 2013 6:14AM EDT
OTTAWA -- Canada is being urged to reject proposed intellectual property rules that activists say would boost the cost of of pharmaceuticals in poor countries.
The proposal is part of the ongoing 11-country Trans Pacific Partnership talks, which begin an 18th round this week in Malaysia.
Like the Canada-European Union negotiations, the TPP talks are shrouded in secrecy.
But a major leak has revealed details of a U-S proposal that would extend patent protection for pharmaceutical companies, thus delaying the production of cheaper generic drugs.
The group Medecins Sans Frontiers says aggressive intellectual property rules would drive up the costs of drugs that treat diseases such as AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in developing countries.
The group is calling on Canada to speak out against the new proposal during this week's talks.