Yesterday, PhRMA submitted comments for the 2017 Special 301 Report the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will publish in April. The comments highlight serious intellectual property and market access barriers in 18 countries that harm biopharmaceutical innovators in the United States and the patients they serve around the world.
Published annually, the Special 301 Report reviews intellectual property protection and enforcement abroad. It identifies challenges facing America’s innovative and creative industries in overseas markets and highlights ways effective protection of patents, trademarks and copyrights promotes jobs and economic growth. It serves as a catalyst for positive change.
To invest the substantial resources necessary over many years to develop and deliver new treatments and cures, America’s biopharmaceutical innovators and the more than 850,000 women and men they employ across the country depend on open markets and strong protection and enforcement of patents and regulatory test data at home and abroad.
But today, too many countries fail to value and respect American ideas, brands and inventions. Medicines developed and manufactured in the United States face a growing array of tariffs, taxes and approval delays in overseas markets – many of them designed to benefit local companies at the expense of innovators and their employers here and elsewhere around the world.
PhRMA’s comments urge USTR to address these barriers and to ensure America’s trading partners live up to their intellectual property and market access commitments in global, regional and bilateral agreements. They call for urgent action to improve medicines pricing and reimbursement transparency and to combat the worldwide proliferation of counterfeit medicines.
PhRMA and its member companies look forward to working with USTR and other federal agencies to achieve these critical goals. With the right policies and incentives in place at home and abroad, America’s biopharmaceutical innovators can continue to bring valuable new medicines to patients and contribute powerfully to the American economy and jobs.
Mark Grayson Mark Grayson is a former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on intellectual property, trade and international issues.