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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26383

Senator ALLISON (5:35 PM) —It is quite right that they talk about innovative drug manufacturers, but they do not talk about generics and they do not talk about affordability or low cost. Those words are not mentioned. Minister, I did not talk about transparency. I am talking about the principle, which is nothing to do with transparency. That is another provision of the agreement that you have signed off on. My specific question was this: why was it necessary on the part of the US—why did the US negotiate—to have this principle inserted in the agreement? And why didn't the government say, `If you are going to have that principle in, we want our principle in—the principle which is in so many of our other documents and which is about affordability, generic brands and lowest possible cost.' It is an unbalanced agreement unless you do that. Did you argue that there needed to be a corresponding balancing principle?