A key dispute in the TPP negotiations is the patents on pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures. Long patents inflate the profits of the pharmaceutical industry by not allowing less expensive generic drugs on the market. This means that people around the world will not be able to afford critical, often life-saving, drugs and medical procedures. It also means that countries like Japan, Australia and New Zealand that have national health care systems will see the cost of healthcare rise to a breaking point, undermining some of the best health systems in the world. To get its way, Stan McCoy, Assistant US Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation, is chairing the meetings on intellectual properties and medicines. He has been using bullying tactics to force countries to agree to positions that will harm people in the countries negotiating the TPP.
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