Assessing the Impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) on Australian and Global Medicines Policy

Globalisation and Health, Vol. 1, pp, 1-15, 2005

10 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009  

Thomas Alured Faunce

Australian National University; Australian Research Council

Evan Doran

University of Newcastle (Australia) - School of Medicine and Public Health

David Henry

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter Drahos

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS); Queen Mary University of London, School of Law; School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet)

Andrew Searles

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brita Pekarsky

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Warwick Neville

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 26, 2005

Abstract

On 1 January 2005, a controversial trade agreement entered into force between Australia and the United States. Though heralded by the parties as facilitating the removal of barriers to free trade (in ways not achievable in multilateral fora), it also contained many trade-restricting intellectual property provisions and others uniquely related to altering pharmaceutical regulation and public health policy in Australia. The latter appear to have particularly focused on the world-respected process of federal government reimbursement after expert cost-effectiveness evaluation, popularly known as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme ('PBS'). It remains uncertain what sort of impacts – if any – the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement ('AUSFTA') will have on PBS processes such as reference pricing and their important role in facilitating equitable and affordable access to
essential medicines.
This is now the field of inquiry for a major three year Australian Research Council ('ARC')-funded study bringing together a team of senior researchers in regulatory theory from the Australian National University and pharmacoeconomics from the University of Newcastle. The project proposes to monitor, assess and analyse the real and potential impacts of the AUSFTA in this area, providing Australian policy-makers with continuing expertise and options.
To the extent that the AUSFTA medicines provisions may represent an important precedent in a global strategy by industry on cost-effectiveness evaluation of pharmaceuticals, the study will also be of great interest to policy makers in other jurisdictions.

Keywords: Free trade agreements, AUSFTA, intellectual monopoly privileges, TRIPS-plus, evergreening, data exclusivity, parallel importation, compulsory licensing, innovation, generics, patents

Suggested Citation

Faunce, Thomas Alured and Doran, Evan and Henry, David and Drahos, Peter and Searles, Andrew and Pekarsky, Brita and Neville, Warwick, Assessing the Impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) on Australian and Global Medicines Policy (October 26, 2005). Globalisation and Health, Vol. 1, pp, 1-15, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1407738 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1407738

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

Australian Research Council

Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

Evan Doran

University of Newcastle (Australia) - School of Medicine and Public Health ( email )

Australia

David Henry

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Peter Drahos

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

School of Regulation & Global Governance (RegNet) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Andrew Searles

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Brita Pekarsky

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Warwick Neville

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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