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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26382

Senator ALLISON (5:31 PM) —Again I ask why it is that the principle is there which recognises the rights of innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers as opposed to generic manufacturers or the public interest, in this case the interest of the Commonwealth, the government, in negotiating lower prices. Why was that corresponding principle not written in? That is what this agreement is most heavily criticised for by people who know much more about patent law and much more about the PBS than I ever will. For them, that is the key problem. What work have you done on that and why was there not a corresponding principle? As I understand it, that principle is in a whole lot of other treaties and in other documents. Documents on public health policy, for instance, have that spelled out explicitly as one of the principles of agreements that are entered into. Why was it not included in the FTA?