Trade Agreements

Lilly supports the pursuit of public policies in free trade agreements that promote innovation, protect intellectual property rights, and provide access to safe and innovative medicines and treatments for patients around the world by removing critical barriers to market access.

U.S. exports have been key drivers of the economic recovery in recent years. Currently, more than 1 in 5 American jobs are supported by international trade. U.S. job growth over the last decade has been three times higher for trade-related jobs, compared to overall job growth. Further, 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power now lives outside the U.S.

This demonstrates the importance of trade legislation that promotes access to competitive international markets while setting a standard for data protection.

Critical elements within trade agreements include:

  • An agreed-upon set of principles.
    • Recognition that access to innovative medicines is a key part of a high-quality healthcare system and the role medicines can play in reducing overall healthcare expenditures.
  • Data exclusivity.
    • Protection of confidential information from disclosure and unfair commercial use in line with at least U.S. standards for medicines (5 years) and biologics (12 years).
  • Standards for enforcement of patent rights.
    • Protection of patents without discrimination, regardless of technology.
    • Guarantee of patent protection, regardless of whether patents are made locally or imported.
    • A standard term of protection (20 years from filing date).
  • Standard patent terms.
    • Adjustment of the term of the patent to account for unreasonable regulatory delays due to patent registration and marketing approval.
  • Improved transparency in government pricing, reimbursement, and listing.
    • Increased public participation in rulemaking processes.
    • An independent review process of product listing decisions.
    • Formalization of communication between public payers and sponsors throughout pricing and listing negotiations.
    • An independent committee co-chaired by health and trade authorities to ensure health policies promote a vibrant biopharmaceutical industry.
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