Submission to the US Trade Representative Regarding the 2012 Special 301 Review Process
"Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) would like to submit the following written comments to the 2012 Special 301 Process.
MSF also request to testify at the hearing that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced for February 23, 2012. MSF would like to request that USTR facilitates the participation by other civil society and interested stakeholders from around the world, especially from developing countries where USTR policies have greater effect and the presence and substantive involvement of public health U.S. government agencies like DHHS, PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative.
MSF is an independent, international medical humanitarian organization that delivers medical care to patients in nearly 70 countries, our work focuses on the medical needs of poor people living in developing countries whose needs are often neglected. We provide medical aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man?made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographic marginalization. Our teams provide medical care for people with HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis, Chagas, leishmaniasis, and other diseases, as well as primary care, maternal and child health care, and other services.
We seek increasing access to and affordability of lifesaving medicines and diagnostic tools in developing countries and to stimulate the development of urgently needed better tools for people in countries where MSF works.
MSF is one more year participating in the Special 301 Process because we are concerned about the effects that heightened intellectual property regimes and high prices being imposed on developing countries by the USTR will have on access to affordable generic medicines for our patients and medical operations, as well as on the lack of innovation adapted to the needs of the resource?poor settings where we work. Populations in developing countries are denied access to medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools either because they do not exist due to inadequate incentives for the development of appropriate and effective tools; or because they exist but are not available in countries due in part to intellectual property barriers and high costs....."