On December 12, the Senate unanimously adopted the Protocol of Addendum to the Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada (USMCA). This text introduces a series of amendments regarding drug patents to the original document. The protocol is expected to be submitted to the Executive for enactment and publication in the Official Journal in the next few days, but the agreement will only enter into force when it has been adopted by both the United States and Canada, likely in the coming weeks.
The addenda to the USMCA change medicine regulations in the signatory countries by removing patents on biological medicines and allowing each country to regulate these independently. This includes patents for new use, methods of use, or procedures for known products. In the same way, the final version deletes the articles establishing joint mechanisms to regulate pharmaceutical markets in order to ensure fair competition.
Mexico now has to wait for the United States and Canada to approve the agreement before it enters into force. The text is already being debated in the U.S. Congress, which could pass it in the short term. Canada has however not yet begun the process, and this will probably take place after the United States has issued its approval.