Tell Stephen Harper: Medicines shouldn't be a luxury
Time is running out to change a trade deal that could jeopardize people’s access to affordable medicines
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The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, PC, MP
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to urge the Canadian government to reject provisions being proposed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that threaten to restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people.  

I am concerned about specific provisions in the intellectual property, investment and pharmaceutical pricing chapters that will make it harder for patients, governments and treatment providers to access affordable generic medicines in developing countries. 

Too many people already suffer and die because the medicines they need are too expensive or do not exist. I cannot stand by as this proposed agreement threatens to restrict access even further.

I urge the Canadian government to ensure that the final text of the TPP is aligned with its pre-existing global public health commitments. Medicines should not be a luxury.

Sincerely,

[your name]
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THE MOST HARMFUL TRADE PACT EVER
FOR ACCESS TO MEDICINES

Carmen Jose-Panti from Mozambique is one of ten million HIV positive people in the world whose lives have been transformed by affordable treatment. “Before, my husband would come back from work and find me just lying in bed. But now that I am taking the medicines I can cook alone, I can wash, and I am running a small shop.”

Competition from generic drug companies has reduced the price of HIV drugs by a staggering 99 per cent to less than $140 per patient per year. This has given more HIV patients in the developing world—like Carmen—a chance not only to survive, but to lead meaningful lives.

But Canada is participating in international trade talks that could jeopardize what has already been achieved, and put the lives of millions of patients at risk.

Damaging intellectual property rules in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) would give pharmaceutical companies longer monopolies over brand name drugs. Companies would be able to charge high prices for longer periods of time. And it would be much harder for generic companies to produce cheaper drugs that are vital to people’s health.

Many countries and treatment providers like Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) rely on affordable quality generic medicines to treat life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. We need to keep prices low so our patients — and millions of others still waiting for treatment in the developing world — can get the medicines they need.

Time is running out. Sign the petition now.

We need the Canadian government to reject damaging provisions that could make the TPP the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines. Please join MSF Canada in signing this petition, because medicines shouldn’t be a luxury.

Infographic

Médecins Sans Frontières responds to leak of Trans-Pacific Partnership text on Wikileaks:

On November 13, WikiLeaks released the draft Intellectual Property Chapter of the TPP. Since negotiations began in 2010, they have been shrouded in secrecy. This is the first leak of text from the proposed agreement in more than two years.

The leak of the secret text confirms that the U.S. government is continuing to steamroll its trading partners in the face of steadfast opposition over terms that will severely restrict access to affordable medicines for millions of people. The U.S. is refusing to back down from dangerous provisions that will impede timely access to affordable medicines.

It's encouraging to see that some governments, including Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, are pushing back against some aspects of the U.S. position with their own proposal that better protects access to medicines. What is troubling is that the text also shows that some countries are willing to give in to the U.S. government's damaging demands. MSF urges countries to stand strong to ensure that the harmful terms are removed before this deal is finalized.

Sign the petition to tell Prime Minister Harper to stand firm against the U.S. position on the TPP, and reject damaging provisions that could make this agreement the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines.


**For more information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) visit our website.