Big Pharma has a new tool to make turbo-charged profits and insulate itself from efforts to rein in skyrocketing health costs. Under the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement with the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations, drug companies will be able to challenge any restraint on their ability to price-gouge, including laws that empower public programs like Medicare and Medicaid to use their purchasing power to obtain lower prices. In the lawless market envisioned by the trade deal, drug makers would charge whatever they want without any constraints. TPP negotiators are currently meeting in Salt Lake City for critical discussions about this agreement, which would be the largest economic trade treaty since the World Trade Organization was established in 1995.
Continue reading: Big Pharma Could Win International Price Monopoly, Unlimited Profits in ‘Free Trade’ Deal
by Ethan Rome, HuffPost Politics, 20 Nov 2013