Letters to the editor for Friday, Nov. 13, 2015
November 12, 2015
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Trans-Pacific Partnership a bad deal for seniors
On Oct. 5, representatives from 12 countries met in Atlanta and concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This sweeping trade deal will have widespread implications for all Americans but could be particularly devastating for retirees.
Leaked language from the ongoing negotiations indicates that the TPP is likely to extend patent exclusivity for cancer-treating biologics — effectively increasing the amount of time before less expensive generic versions of these drugs can be made. TPP could also make it easier for companies to extend their drug patents by simply making small changes to the drug's formula rather than improving their effectiveness, delaying generic brand introduction even further.
Corporations could even be empowered to use the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process to challenge Medicare drug subsidies in international court if the industry can prove its profits are being hurt.
By keeping drug prices high, TPP has the potential to undermine access to affordable healthcare for millions of Americans who need it most. This could affect not only our seniors on fixed incomes but it would affect you, too!
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I urge you to contact your Congressmen to stand with America's seniors and oppose TPP.
Tom "T-Bird" Bird
President of Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans