Resolution Opposing the Inclusion of a Pharmaceuticals Chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership PDF, 112KB

Adopted 1/21/11 by vote of the Board

Whereas:  State Medicaid programs provide medicines for over 40 million low income Americans. Other state programs directly purchase medicines for hospitals and clinics.  To afford these programs, states rely on negotiating strategies that compare therapeutically equivalent drugs and construct Preferred Drug Lists to steer patients towards cost effective treatments;

Whereas:  The US-Australia FTA, the proposed US-Korea FTA and statements in the annual Special 301 Report include proposals regulating the operation of government pharmaceutical reimbursement programs in ways that, if applied to Medicaid and other state programs, would significantly hamper the ability of states to control medicine costs;

Whereas:  Trade Agreements are reciprocal by nature, and state government policies that violate the terms may lead to foreign government retaliation. The federal government may preempt state law thorough international agreements. And proposals to limit the operation of foreign reimbursement programs are likely to lead to increased foreign pressure to limit similarly operating programs in the U.S.;

Whereas:  State government officials have repeatedly warned federal trade officials against promoting policies in international agreements that restrict foreign pharmaceutical reimbursement programs that operate similarly to those used by State programs, including through Medicaid; 1

Whereas:  Pharmaceutical reimbursement programs do not regulate trade but rather are a core tool for the promotion of public health and welfare, and therefore are not appropriate subjects of trade agreements;

Whereas:  The office of the U.S. Trade Representative is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a plurilateral trade agreement among eight nations.  To date, no negotiating text has been tabled, but the branded drug lobby has requested the inclusion of a pharmaceutical chapter based on the provisions found in our trade agreements with Australia and Korea. 2

Be it therefore resolved that the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices (NLARx) urges the U.S. Trade Representative to omit any pharmaceutical reimbursement provisions from the Trans-Pacific Partnership or any future or pending FTA:

Be it further resolved that NLARx urges trade officials to cease consideration of pharmaceutical reimbursement programs within the Special 301 annual review of intellectual property practices;

Be it further resolved that NLARx urges trade officials to publicly release text of the TPP and other free trade agreements on an ongoing basis after each negotiation round so that state officials and other public interest representatives can meaningfully review and comment on proposed text as in any fair and open legislative process that affects broad public interests;

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of State, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, and the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means and the leadership of the House and Senate.

Additional Information
See for past communiqués (resolutions, letters, testimony, and submissions to trade panels).

Examples of industry lobbying for a pharmaceuticals chapter based on Chapter 5 of the Koera-US Free Trade Agreement include the December 2010 U.S. Business Coalition for TPP letter to USTR (; the March 11, 2009 Comments to USTR submitted by PhRMA (

Resolution, January 21, 2011, Pharmacuticals and Trade, PT

Letter to United States Trade Representative, September 16, 2010

NLARx 301 Comments Letter of Intent to Testify, February 16, 2010

Health Reform Letter to the Subcommittee on Health, May 5, 2009

Federal Sunshine Act Letter from Sharon Treat, March 20, 2009

Letter to Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, February 18, 2009

Letter to the Senate Finance Committee, January 11, 2007

Resolution, Feb. 6, 2006, Medicare Part D

Resolution, Oct. 21, 2005, Medicare Part D

Letter to United States Trade Representative, May 26, 2005

Letter to FTC, May 11, 2005, PBM Transparency

Resolution, May 6, 2005, PBM Transparency

Resolution, Jan. 28, 2005, Medicare Part D

Resolution, Jan. 28, 2005, Medicaid

Resolution, Nov. 21, 2003, Medicare Part D

Search The Site:
Join NLARx Today
arrow Membership Details
arrow Member News Page