Resolution to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Summary

This resolution recognizes the importance of protecting the intellectual property rights of patented pharmaceuticals in overseas markets. Violations of these rights result in economic loss and loss of human lives. This resolution supports US government efforts to improve transparency in intellectual property policy making and during international trade negotiations. This resolution also calls on the Departments of State and Justice to emphasize protection of intellectual property rights among its embassy and law enforcement personnel overseas, and urges the Office of the United States Trade Representative to ensure that trade agreements into which the United States enters will protect the integrity of pharmaceuticals around the world.

Resolution to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property (IP) rights including patented pharmaceuticals regardless of national borders; and

WHEREAS, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) are crucial to the future of the innovation-based economy; and

WHEREAS, intellectual property infringement can undermine our national and economic security; and

WHEREAS, violations of intellectual property rights, ambiguities in the law and lack of enforcement create uncertainty in the marketplace and legal system and undermine consumer trust; and

WHEREAS, the current Administration released the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement highlighting the importance of IPRs to the U.S. economy and pledging to work with U.S. trading partners and within international organizations to better enforce American intellectual property rights in the global economy; and

WHEREAS, the current Administration pledged to initiate a comprehensive review of current efforts in support of U.S. businesses that have difficulty enforcing their intellectual property rights in overseas markets; and

WHEREAS, U.S. intellectual property is worth an estimated $5.5 trillion, more than the GDP of any country, and IP-related industries account for more than half of all U.S. exports, helping to drive 40% of America’s domestic growth; and

WHEREAS, the yearly cost of counterfeit pharmaceuticals to consumers and to pharmaceutical companies, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2010 will be $75 billion; and

WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of people die each year due to counterfeit drugs without the correct active ingredient or accurate dosage; and

WHEREAS, less than 1 percent of counterfeit pharmaceuticals worldwide are sold within the United States, making this issue an international concern; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce highlights the fact that counterfeiting reduces differentiation between products and introduces an element of risk into the market; and

WHEREAS, protection against counterfeit pharmaceuticals will help to improve IP rights, allowing companies to compete and thrive in the global economy; and

WHEREAS, IP-based industries, such as pharmaceuticals, account for more than $5 trillion of the U.S. GDP, over half of our exports, and the employment of 18 million Americans; and

WHEREAS, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a new international framework to enforce intellectual property rights, looks to be signed in 2010 by the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, and Switzerland;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] supports US government efforts to improve transparency in intellectual property policy making and during international trade negotiations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Departments of State and Justice to emphasize protection of intellectual property rights among its embassy and law enforcement personnel overseas providing guidance to and enabling them to serve as effective advocates and enforcers of intellectual property rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] encourages the administration to work with Congress to enact legislation that expands the IP attaché to additional countries abroad; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that pharmaceutical companies have the resources they need to implement effective anti-counterfeiting technologies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] commits to creating partnerships with likeminded government officials and leaders in countries where counterfeit pharmaceuticals are widespread in an effort to combat their proliferation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] commit to working with these international partners to facilitate the drafting of laws that effectively discourage the production and dissemination of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and that promote consistent enforcement of already existing laws; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the commonwealth/state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the Office of the United States Trade Representative to ensure that trade agreements into which the United States enters will protect the integrity of pharmaceuticals around the world; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, to the Secretary of State, to the Attorney General, to the Secretary of Commerce, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, to the U.S. Trade Representative, to the Director of the FBI, and to the Director of The United States Patent and Trademark Office.