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Productivity Commission’s Report Recommendations Would Hurt Australian Innovation and Delay Access to Breakthrough Medicines

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Media Release

The Productivity Commission report recommendations, if adopted, would put local jobs, investment and Australian patients’ early access to breakthrough medicines at risk.

The Commission continues to misunderstand the value of Intellectual Property (IP) and is putting at risk the jobs of thousands of Australian scientists and medical researchers, as well as sending a signal to investors that Australia is indeed “closed for business”.

These recommendations, if implemented, would undermine the Government’s Innovation Agenda, particularly in the Medical Research sector, including local biotechnology companies.

These recommendations would also see Australia’s competitiveness fall even further behind other countries with more robust IP systems such as those in the UK, Japan and Europe. Medical Research is one of the few sectors identified by the Government as having the potential to grow our economy into the medium term.

IP is critical to secure new and better treatments for patients – it takes 15+ years of expensive R&D to bring forward new innovation in medical science. Watering down Australia’s existing IP regime puts at risk early access to medical innovation by Australians as it will become unviable to bring a new product directly to market in Australia.

The proposed reform of Australia’s IP regime also sends a troubling signal to our members who currently invest $1 billion a year in local R&D.

The report findings are also at odds with the Australian Government’s efforts to attract more clinical trials which give patients free, fast access to the latest medicines in the final phases of development.

We welcome the Government’s consultation process and hope that they will dismiss the recommendations in this report that risk losing investment and jobs in this critical sector. We look forward to continuing this vital work with the Australian Government to ensure Australia has a thriving environment for research and development.

Contact:

Natalie Wimmer
Phone: (02) 6122 8500
Email:
Natalie.Wimmer@medicinesaustralia.com.au

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