As Congress continues to debate Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), it is important to keep in mind why the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the largest trade deal in history – can and should help propel the United States (U.S.) into a new era of innovation and productivity in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
Our industry’s core mission is the discovery of new treatments and cures to help patients live longer, healthier lives. Below are three important facts to keep in mind about why upholding strong intellectual property (IP) protections as part of TPP are vital to the continued discovery and delivery of medicines for the world’s patients:
#1. Creating life-saving medicines requires significant investment and resources.
New medicines are the result of up to 15 years of complex research and development at an average cost of $2.6 billion. The U.S. and other nations must encourage and incentivize the innovation that has the potential to propel today’s research into tomorrow’s most cutting-edge treatments and cures.
#2. For medical innovation to continue, the TPP must uphold the strong IP protections that currently exist in the U.S.
The important role of IP – including a 12-year data protection period for biologics – is not a new idea. In fact, it was codified in the Affordable Care Act, endorsed by a strong, bipartisan majority in Congress.
#3. The evidence is overwhelming that the U.S. model works.
Strong protection of IP is a catalyst for the creation of new medicines for the world’s patients. In too many countries, patient access to medicines are stymied not by strong IP protections, but dynamics like poor infrastructure, lack of investment and high tariffs. The robust IP protections afforded in the United States have helped foster a system whereby the U.S. dominates the pipeline of new drugs in development and, in turn, where generics comprise a healthy 85 percent-plus of the market.
As PhRMA CEO John Castellani notes this week in Morning Consult, we must continue to create an environment ripe for investment today to unlock the promising science of tomorrow.