Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its impact on accessibility and affordability of medicines: A meta-synthesis
Yap, YY and Wong, CP and Lee, KS and Ming, LC and Khan, TM, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its impact on accessibility and affordability of medicines: A meta-synthesis, Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science, 51, (4) pp. 446-459. ISSN 2168-4790 (2017) [Refereed Article]
This article aims to discuss the main consequences of the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA) in the pharmaceutical sector in regard to public health, focusing on the accessibility and affordability of medicines. This paper also looks at the likely impact of the TPP agreement on access to affordable medicines. The potential effects of provisions in the final text are explored based on the context of developed and developing countries. A meta-synthesis study design was used. The thematic analysis technique was used to generate themes and a decision tree of the TTPA meta-synthesis. PubMed, EBSCOhost, Ovid, and Scopus databases from inception until the first week of January 2016 were used. Only peer-reviewed journals that discussed TPPA’s impact on the pharmaceutical sector were included. Data were extracted by 2 reviewers and then verified by 3 senior researchers. The extracted data were imported into Excel spreadsheets and coded line by line. Codes were organized into descriptive themes. The identified themes were cross-checked against original articles to ensure consistency. A total of 85 full articles and reports were reviewed and, finally, 32 of them were used in the meta-synthesis. Two central themes to the TTPA emerged: intellectual property rights and transparency. Five subthemes were identified under intellectual property rights: patent subject matter (representing scope of patentability), patent term adjustment for patent office delays (representing patent term extension), protection of undisclosed test or other data (representing data exclusivity), protection of undisclosed test or other data (representing patent linkage), and compulsory licensing. Meanwhile, transparency and anti-corruption procedural fairness, which presents restriction of coverage program and reimbursement, were identified as the subthemes of transparency. Findings indicate that the TPPA could potentially hinder the affordability and accessibility of medicine, which could increase risks to public health.
access to medicine, affordability, health policy, developing countries, intellectual property