TTIP From Both Sides of the Pond

Today's post was written by Andrew Hotchkiss, Lilly's President Europe, Canada and Australia and Dave Ricks, Senior Vice President and President, Lilly Bio-Medicines.


Andrew Hotchkiss

  1. With the ninth round of negotiations underway, can you tell us, from your perspective, what's at the core of TTIP and why we in the EU should support the agreement?
    TTIP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help patients and improve economic growth by removing unnecessary barriers to trade and promoting better regulatory cooperation. Patients will benefit and we have a chance to upgrade the competitiveness of the transatlantic economy with the pharmaceutical industry at the heart of Europe’s drive to enhance its global competitiveness. An ambitious and comprehensive agreement has the potential to increase transatlantic investment in life sciences and foster research collaboration. That’s an exciting prospect which will help improve healthcare on both sides of the Atlantic.

  2. What’s the biggest myth surrounding TTIP?
    One fairly dominant myth surrounding TTIP is how it might affect the ability of national health services to provide publicly funded health services. This is simply not true - TTIP is not a health care reform. The bottom line is that TTIP will not affect the national competences of EU Member States, which includes the rights of Member States to organise their own healthcare systems and provide healthcare services. A recent statement by the EU and US Trade Representatives draws a firm line in the sand on this. They clarified that US and EU trade agreements do not prevent governments, at any level, from providing or supporting services in areas such as water, education, health, and social services. All current EU trade agreements have excluded publicly funded health services from the scope.

  3. What person/organization has caught your eye of late in really crystallizing the benefits of TTIP? 
    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström really captured the spirit and vision for TTIP last month in Dublin when she said: "It doesn’t cost anything to agree on a trade deal. You don’t use public money. It opens more markets for European producers, more possibilities for European companies to invest. We know it works internally within the European Union and it has worked in the past with other trade agreements, such as Japan, Singapore and Canada.” She has also made great efforts to keep the public informed, including publishing the latest negotiating texts, proposals and position papers on the Commission’s website as well as several trips to various Member State capitals.


Dave Ricks

  1. With the ninth round of negotiations underway, can you tell us, from your perspective, what's at the core of TTIP and why we in the U.S. should support the agreement?
    The most pressing health issues we face today have no borders. Non-communicable diseases, for example, account for nearly 68% of all deaths worldwide. If we want to solve these challenges, we need policies in place that will get the right people working together. Europe and the U.S. account for more than 75% of global R&D in the life-sciences industry. This means that between these two regions, we have the opportunity to make a real difference in fighting NCDs and other diseases.

    In order to reap the benefits of the research coming out of these regions, we need regulatory compatibility and intellectual property protections alongside predictable and transparent market access. With TTIP, I see the opportunity to achieve these new standards, in turn supporting the discovery of new medicines, and ensuring that every person has access to life-saving treatments when - and where - they need them. This is no small feat. If done right, TTIP would benefit patients here in the U.S., in the EU, and around the world, while strengthening an industry that supports nearly 1.5 million jobs across the Atlantic.

  2. What’s the biggest myth surrounding TTIP?
    The biggest myth I’ve seen perpetuated in the conversation around TTIP is that this agreement will limit access to medicine by implementing stringent IP restrictions. Both the EU and the U.S. already have strong IP regimes that balance incentivizes for innovation with the need for increased access.  TTIP only seeks to bring greater alignment between the two systems by establishing common benchmarks. These standards will support a sustainable ecosystem that cultivates the discovery of new medicines.

  3. What person/organization has caught your eye of late in really crystallizing the benefits of TTIP?  
    In a recent article in Foreign Policy, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman highlighted what would happen if the U.S. did not pursue an agreement like TTIP, "Sitting on the sidelines, we’ll see our partnerships weakened as they’re deprived of the strength that comes from enhanced economic relationships, and we’ll miss the opportunity to forge new habits of cooperation among key partners." Indeed, this cooperation and the possibility of increased alignment across the Atlantic would only work to strengthen our capacity to make life better for people around the world.