Medicines

Trans-Pacific deal a threat to generics

Thursday, 26 Feb 2015


A leaked draft of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement includes changes to patenting standards that could see cheaper generics delayed by up to 20 years, an expert says.

Writing in the MJA Dr Deborah Gleeson from La Trobe University in Melbourne said the latest draft of the proposed agreement contains provisions that could see extensions to patent terms locked in and extend monopoly rights over clinical trial data for certain medicines.

These measures would “future-proof” existing low standards that are “antiethical to promoting access to, and affordability of medicines,”she wrote.

Pharmaceutical monopoly protections already cost the Australian health system hundreds of millions of dollars each year, she said.

“The most recently leaked draft would expand and entrench costly monopolies in Australia, with no evidence of any countervailing benefit to the Australian public,” she concluded.

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