Assessing access to medicines in preferential trade agreements: From the trans-pacific partnership to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-pacific partnership

Piergiuseppe Pusceddu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    TheComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or TPP11)is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. CPTPP negotiations started after the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement reached a stalemate due to the withdrawal of the United States on 23 January 2017. This paper's aim is to provide an appraisal of some sensitive provisions of the CPTPP, and their impact on access to affordable medicines. As access to medicines is mainly related to the protection of intellectual property rights and in particular patents, a first part of the paper will focus on the international regulatory framework for patents, considering the main international conventions, the TRIPS Agreement and its relation with preferential trade agreements. The narration will then focus on the provision of the CPTPP relating to patents and pharmaceuticals, and those relating to investment. The discussion will revolve around whether said provisions significantly depart from the framework set by TRIPS, for instance, including TRIPS-plus provisions, notably criticised for their adverse repercussions on the fundamental right to health. As regards the provisions in the investment chapter, the analysis will focus on whether the wording of said chapter is equipped to strike a balance between protection of foreign investors and health regulation. A conclusion will follow, summarising the main findings of the paper.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1048-1079
    Number of pages32
    JournalInternational Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


    • Access to medicines
    • Public health
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
    • Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)
    • Preferential trade agreements
    • TRIPS-plus
    • Investment law
    • TRIPS
    • DRUGS

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