The Government will introduce a legislation to allow Australian courts to grant compulsory licences to manufacture and export patented pharmaceuticals to countries trying to deal with epidemics and other types of health crises.
According to Innovation Minister, Senator kim Carr, this means developing countries experiencing a health crisis will now be able to buy vital medicines from Australia at a more affordable price.
This news is a boon for the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Australia, which is well-known for developing high-IP, high-quality products.
The legislation will help Australia’s pharmaceutical industry to get a leg-hold on the export market.
According to Senator Carr and Trade Minister Dr Craig Emerson, the legislation was developed to help countries like the United Nations, which estimates that nearly two billion people do not have access to essential medicines.
In 2008, an estimated 285 million people were infected with malaria, HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, causing 4.2 million deaths. Many of the countries that are suffering such epidemics are developing or least-developed countries with limited resources and manufacturing capabilities.
Senator Carr said lives would be saved through nations working together.
“The new system will enable a country that is experiencing a serious epidemic to ensure that its own population is supplied with vital treatments,” he said.
“The Government continues to support and encourage innovation, investment and international competitiveness by ensuring that patent owners will receive adequate compensation for any licences issued.
“Measures will also be taken to help ensure that pharmaceuticals exported under the system reach the people that need them and are not diverted to other markets.”
Image courtesy of Proactiveinvestors.com.au
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