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NLARx Comments to U.S. Trade Representative on the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

September 15th, 2009

Ms. Gloria Blue
Executive Secretary, Trade Policy Staff Committee
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

RE: USTRís Request for Comments: Korea‐US Free Trade Agreement

Dear Ms. Blue:

The National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Pricesí Working Group on Trade is a group of state leaders interested in the interaction between federal trade policy and access to affordable medicines in the United States. Our focus is to insure that federal trade policy does not interfere with our ability to provide health care to low income Americans through Medicaid and other federal, state and local programs.

We appreciate this opportunity to comment on the Korea‐US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). The KORUS FTA, which has significant provisions addressing pharmaceutical pricing policy, has been of particular interest to state legislators and other state policymakers. While we are pleased to see that Chapter 5 of the KORUS FTA includes safeguards for Medicaid, we wish to address these issues more broadly and urge the incorporation of a similar Medicaid carve out as part of any pharmaceutical sections in future trade agreements in order to assure that the branded drug industry does not use trade policy to set international norms that limit evidence based pricing...

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