Higher prices for medicines

Stronger monopolies leading to higher medicine prices

Pharmaceutical companies already have 20 years of patents for monopoly higher prices on new medicines before cheaper versions become available.

The TPP will provide additional monopoly rights for the costly biologic medicines used to treat cancer and other serious diseases. Doctors without Borders (MSF) says the TPP will delay access to lower-priced medicines for millions of people, especially in developing countries.

Australian law on biologic monopolies will not change immediately, but the text requires “other measures” which would “deliver a comparable market outcome,” and to a future review which could result in up to three extra years of monopoly. Each year of delay in the availability of cheaper biologic medicines would cost the Australian government hundreds of millions of dollars, creating pressure for higher prices at the chemist.

For more information see:

MSF Statement on the TPP Text on medicines

Public Health Expert Dr Deborah Gleeson's analysis of the TPP text on medicines