High Court decision could undermine development of innovative medicines

double helix (DNA)

The High Court decision to disallow patenting of isolated genetic materials is a worry for the innovative medicines sector, says Medicines Australia.

“It is essential that Australia maintains strong and stable intellectual property protection that will support the development of new biological medicines,” says Medicines Australia CEO Tim James.

“We will need to consider the implications of this decision for patents held by our member companies, a number of which are researching and developing new biological medicines.

“This could have significant negative impact on access to new and innovative biological medicines in the future. Coupled with weak data protection being maintained in Australia under the recent TPP, these decisions are potentially bad news for patients.”

Whilst the High Court’s decision today relates to particular claims within a specific patent, it potentially will have far ranging effects on other patents and future patents held by the companies that discover, research, develop and bring new biological medicines to Australian patients, Medicines Australia says.

“It is important that Australia maintains strong patent laws, which are interpreted consistently by the courts, to ensure Australian patients can receive the latest and most effective treatments as soon as they become available,” says James.

“Having robust intellectual property laws is critical to developing new medicines and vaccines and Australia needs to ensure it reflects international best practice.”

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