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Several patient groups are lambasting the U.S. Trade Representative over its latest annual list that identifies and ranks countries based on a willingness to protect intellectual property, calling it “shameful” and “outrageous.”

Known as the Special 301 Report, the yearly exercise is of great concern to drug makers, which regularly argue that some countries fail to sufficiently protect and enforce patent rights. By the same token, the list is also closely tracked by patient advocacy groups for clues into trade and patent policies that governments may adopt concerning access to medicines.


The list is released each spring and, typically, generates criticism from patient advocates. This year, however, some groups say the U.S. Trade Rep adopted a harsher tone than in the past and, moreover, the latest list unfairly targets certain countries for using legal measures that are currently permitted under international trade rules that were enacted to improve access to medicines.

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  • May I observe the quote is interesting – “America needs to fight back, which is why we are encouraged the Trump Administration is taking on foreign governments,” – since one of the companies being defended seems to be Novartis. (I may be confused but I had the idea they were Swiss?)
    And “fighting back” against as staunch an ally as Canad is …. “bemusing” to say the least.

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