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Over-ride bird flu anti-viral patents- Brown.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Over-ride bird flu anti-viral patents - Brown

26th Oct 2005

The Government should heed the call of medical experts to over-ride bird flu anti-viral patents, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

If Prime Minister Howard had spent half as much effort preparing Australia to combat bird flu as he has on terrorism, the nation would not be left exposed as described by health experts in Medical Journal

of Australia, Senator Brown said.

“A pandemic would put terrorism right off the front pages,” Senator Brown said.

“The failure of the Howard Government to send ordinary Australians a brochure on how to best protect themselves and their families if a pandemic occurs is in breathtaking contrast to the anti-terror fridge magnet frenzy of old.

“By now, school, workplaces, medical centres, hospitals and homes as well as emergency services should have been comprehensively informed to minimize ignorant fear and maximize real protection from a pandemic.

And by now, Australia ought to have been mass-producing Relenza, the product of its own scientific research for domestic and Asia-Pacific distribution,” Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown also called for a plan for pharmacies to be supplied with diagnostic kits if a pandemic occurs, to readily and accurately direct the limited quantities of anti-viral drugs available.

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