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Trade talks between US and EU could increase cost of drugs, new report says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2402 (Published 26 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2402
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. 1BMJ

Ongoing free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States will lead to agreements that will “limit transparency of clinical trials” and “increase the cost of medicines” if the drug industry has its way, a coalition of public health groups has said in a report.

Whereas many trade negotiations focus mainly on tariffs, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks will set standards and legal frameworks for drug regulation, intellectual property rights, and investment protection, which the report says will “benefit [the] commercial interests of a few multinational firms.”

The report has been produced by a coalition of groups including the International Society of Drug Bulletins, the Medicines in Europe Forum, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines Europe, Health Action International Europe, and the Commons Network.

A spokeswoman for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations defended the talks, telling …

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