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Free Trade Agreement: PBS « Previous | |Next »
December 18, 2003

It's gone pretty quiet lately with talks in Washington this week. But a report has surfaced in The Australian (no link) that indicates the US negotiators are continuing to push the US drug company interests. Those interests want to undermine Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to increase their profits.

They are using intellectual property rights as a backdoor way to do it. One suggestion is for an alert system for any plan by generic drug makers to bring a competing drug to market. This alert would then allow the big drug companies, who market expensive brand name drugs, to take early defensive action against the generic opposition and so prolong the patent life of their own drugs.

At the moment generic drug makers may apply for approvals prior to a patent expiring, and can only hit the button for their manufacture when the patent lapses.

The consequence would be a blowout of the Australia's PBS. Since it delays the the introducion of generic drugs to the Australian market, consumer's ability to choose between the cheaper generic drugs and the expensive brand name drugs is delayed.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:39 AM | | Comments (0)
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