The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

On World Cancer Day, Patients' Civil Disobedience Protest at PhRMA to Warn of 'Death Sentence' Imposed by Trans-Pacific Partnership Expansion of Medicine Monopolies

Cancer Patients and Health Professionals With Surgical Masks, Scrubs, Oversized Pill Bottles Decry TPP as the U.S. and 11 Countries Sign It


WHAT: Demonstration with protestors wearing surgical masks and scrubs, carrying oversized pill bottles with giant price tags. News conference and civil disobedience on World Cancer Day in protest of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that will have just been signed in New Zealand the day before by the United States and 11 other countries. Cancer patients, health professionals and public health advocates will raise their life-and-death concerns about the TPP's implications for access to cancer medicines through compelling visuals, brief statements and chants. Cancer patients will risk arrest outside the headquarters of PhRMA, a trade association representing brand-name pharmaceutical companies that pushed for expanded monopolies in the TPP, to dramatize what they are calling the "TPP Death Sentence."

If ratified, the TPP would expand monopolies on brand-name medications and would prevent access to life-saving generic and biosimilar medicines that make treatment accessible for more people. Some biologics medicines that cancer patients need to stay alive and strong cost more than $100,000 per patient per year. The major brand-name pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing and lobbying than on research and development.

Congress must approve the TPP for it to take effect. Doctors Without Borders has said the TPP would "go down in history as the worst-ever trade agreement for access to medicines ... and is bad for people needing access to medicines worldwide, including in the U.S."

WHEN: 12 p.m. EST Thursday Feb. 4

WHERE: 950 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. (sidewalk outside PhRMA headquarters)

WHO: Cancer patients, survivors, their families, health experts from Public Citizen, Oxfam America, the American Medical Student Association and other organizations

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

(202) 588-1000