Readers may recall that one of the big issues in Australia’s FTA negotiations with the US was the issue of drug pricing, the pharmaceutical benefit scheme, and drug listing. This was one issue where the Australian government stood its ground – to some extent (of course, there’s plenty of debates about whether the ground they gave was too great – see Peter Drahos’ work on this generally, particularly this working paper for the Evatt Foundation).

Well, now it’s apparently Korea’s turn. According to

‘In May, the Korean government announced to reform its drug pricing policy of the national healthcare system by adopting measures to positively list reimbursable prescription drugs rather than the current “negative list”, which only lists the exclusions. During the second round of the KORUS FTA, the US negotiators expressed its strong opposition to the positive list system and refused to attend the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Working Group meeting.’

Concerns are now being expressed about what compromises Korea may have to make in order to go ahead with its positive list scheme. Read the whole thing here.