On the underlying issue, what we’re looking at is the degree to which the pharmaceutical industry can impose monopoly pricing on the entire world. And what we’re calling the death sentence clause is particularly about a class of drugs called biologics. These are basically biotech drugs. It’s the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s most cancer drugs. It’s a number of drugs to treat arthritis and a number of drugs to treat smaller disease classes. But it’s the future of the industry. There’s nothing really special about the drugs in terms of market pricing. They’re made differently. They’re made from living cells and proteins as opposed to what are called small molecule chemical drugs, that are traditional drugs. They’re slightly more difficult to manufacture.
The final text of the TransPacific Partnership agreement won’t be available for at least a month, likely weeks after the Canadian federal election on October 19. The details will undoubtedly reveal more generous concessions to the multinationals. It will be up to the elected legislators in all twelve countries to approve or reject the TPP. In Canada, NDP leader Tom Mulcair has pledged to scrap the deal if elected as Prime Minister, explaining that the Stephen Harper government had no mandate to sign it during an election campaign when it is merely a “caretaker” government.