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Still more Republican lawmakers are urging the U.S. trade representative to require Colombia to change its laws governing drug approvals before supporting the country’s membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental trade group.

In a letter late last week, U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) argued that the Colombian government must alter a national development plan, because it differs from World Health Organization standards by tying marketing approval for approving drugs to pricing criteria, which they argue is not used by other OECD countries. There are three dozen countries in the group.


The government plan “allows the [Colombian] health minister to actively intervene in patent approval processes, which is troubling because it shifts the focus away from providing innovative products to consumers and, instead, puts a disproportionate emphasis on cost in the country’s underfunded health system,” they wrote to U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer.

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