IKN | 1 July 2014
The US / Peru Free Trade Agreement and generic medicines
It works like this:
– In Peru, generic medicines exist as less costly alternatives to very expensive treatments against problems such as cancer, HIV/AIDS/auto-immune viruses, psychiatric disorders and arthritis.
– The National Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Alafarpe) has filed a petition in the Peruvian courts to stop the generic drugs from being sold.
– It’s now known that the blocking petition has been based on the terms of US/Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and that Alafarpe is being used as a cover by an as-yet un-named foreign pharma company to stop the generic drug commercialization.
– If Peru’s courtrooms uphold the petition it would signify a manifold price rise in many treatments. By way of one example, an anti-HIV treatment that currently costs around 500 Soles ( U$180) per capsule would cost the patient S/.7,000 (U$2,518) for the same treatment.
– U$2.5k in a country with an average monthly salary of half that is no small amount of cash. The long and short of it; people won’t be able to afford the treatment and will die (e.g. HIV) or have immensely more painful lives (e.g. arthritis). In the name of progress, of course.