Michael R. Bloomberg’s apt criticism of Obama administration trade policy, which could contribute to tobacco-related deaths throughout the Asia-Pacific region, is only part of the story (“Why Is Obama Caving on Tobacco?,” Op-Ed, Aug. 23).

Administration policy would also force the region, including poor countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Peru, to transform laws so as to provide special expansive monopoly protections for pharmaceuticals, while placing serious limits on countries’ programs analogous to Medicare and Medicaid.

This would give a green light to abuse of the patent system, keeping medicine prices higher for longer and leading to preventable suffering and death.


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