Essential Action Comments to USTR on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

The comments argue that background information on the treaty conflate the concepts of counterfeiting, “piracy” and infringement. “An agreement based on, or reflecting, such a conflation of distinct concepts is likely to be overly broad, proscribing behavior that cannot correctly be identified as counterfeiting and that is not necessarily detrimental to the public interest.” As regards medicines, the proper focus should be on public health — in the context of the broader problem of substandard medicines — rather than on counterfeiting. The comments argue that Big Pharma should be obligated to disclose publicly information it has on fake pharmaceuticals. The comments also point out that the key market incentive for medicines counterfeiting is the high price of patented medicines, and that efforts to make medicines available at marginal cost will reduce counterfeiting incentives….

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