TPP Agreement may threaten affordable medicine in Australia

MEDICAL experts believe affordable medicines in Australia may be under threat if provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement with the United States are agreed to.

A report in the Medical Journal of Australia released today says the latest draft of the agreement extends monopoly rights over clinical trial data for certain medicines.

La Trobe University's Dr Deborah Gleeson said provisions outlined in the agreement's leaked draft showed provisions would also make medicinal reforms increasingly difficult to carry out.

"Australia is supporting a provision that commits countries to make patents available for 'any new uses, or alternatively, new methods of using a known product' as this is current Australian practice," Dr Gleeson said.

"But acceding to this provision in the treaty text will limit Australia's options for much needed patent reform in future."