The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Myths vs Facts

By William Chin, PhD, Project Manager, EUCRAF

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) have partnered up to form the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This partnership aims to create an open trade between the EU and the US, foster research collaborations and to accelerate access of new treatment options to patients. 

Recently EFPIA has published a "myth-buster" brochure to address frequently raised concerns and questions of its potential benefits of TTIP for the pharma industry and patients. 

Below is the list of the common 7 myths on the TTIP and the corresponding facts, quoted directly from the brochure. Further explanantion can be obtained at the EFPIA website, referenced in the source section.

Myth no 1: The TTIP is negotiated in secret, allowing it to be driven by the interests of multinational companies.

Fact: The TTIP negotiations occured through public consultations and regular stakeholder engagement.

Myth no 2: The TTIP will reduce regulatory standards to the lowest common denominator on either side of the Atlantic.

Fact: The pharmaceutical industry strongly supports upholding the high regulatory standards already existing on both sides of the Atlantic.

Myth no 3The pharmaceutical industry attempts to limit clinical trials transparency through TTIP.

Fact: Both EFPIA and PhRMA adopted clinical trial data sharing principles with member companies committing to make clinical trial results public and share data with researchers.

Myth no 4: The pharmaceutical industry’s asks in TTIP will create longer monopoly periods, higher prices and less generic competition.

Fact: TTIP ensures sustainable research of new medicines through the establishment of minimum common benchmarks without reducing the existing level of intelectual protection. 

Myth no 5: The TTIP will undermine Member States’ national competence on pricing and reimbursement.

Fact: TTIP will not impact national governments’ decision-making powers for pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals.

Myth no 6: ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) provisions will hamper government policy space, regulatory freedom and undermine national health policies.

Fact: The ISDS mechanism could not change national health legislation, nor could an ISDS tribunal challenge a Member State’s right to regulate in this field.

Myth no 7: TTIP will affect the ability of national health services to provide publicly funded health services, and will open the possibility of privatisation of health services.

Fact: TTIP will not affect the rights of Member States to organise their own healthcare systems and provide healthcare services.


1. EFPIA News, TTIP- Facts, figures, benefits, 5 March 2015