Pharmaceutical Transparency and Intellectual property renegotiations at NAFTA
28 febrero 2018

From February 26th until March 6th the Seventh Round of renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is taking place in Mexico City. A Pharmaceutical Transparency Annex and intellectual property are two of the issues under discussion. The terms of negotiation are secret.

If they reach an agreement regarding these two issues, they will be integrated to the three others already concluded: Small and Medium Companies, Economic Competition and Anticorruption. Anyway, the celebration of an eight round of negotiation by the end of March is possible.

The inclusion of Pharmaceutical Transparency Annex is a novelty for these kind of negociations. The United States of America tried avoid the issue and asked instead for the creation of a chapter on “Correct Procedure for Pharmaceutical and medical devices”. But Mexico’s and Canada’s position prevailed.

The United States of America is trying to extend the protections, the incentives and the market exclusivity of intellectual property, according to their own Orphan Drug Act, used for the production of new drugs for rare illnesses. Finally, USA wants to extend the period of drug patents’ renovation from two to five years. Canada and Mexico will try to defend the current agreements.

The probabilities that this issues will be agreed in this round are very low; consequently it is expected a new round soon.

Although seven new chapters could be closed, there are still more than 20 chapters without agreement. The objective is to have a beginning of agreement before the mexican presidential elections, which will be held on July 1st. It is likely that a new round of negotiation will take place by the end of March in a place that has not been set yet.

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