Pharma patents should last longer, TGA takes too long: MA

Pharmaceutical industry lobby group Medicines Australia said the amount of time it took manufacturers to get Therapeutic Goods Administration clearance had almost doubled since the five-year patent extension was introduced in 1998.

“Extensions to the patent life for health technologies like pharmaceuticals are important because the regulatory and reimbursement processes consume years of patent life,” MA CEO Dr Brendan Shaw said in a statement before addressing a government review of the patent system.

“Given it takes as long as three years to get a new medicine listed on the PBS, and rejection rates by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee are increasing, it’s timely to look at whether patent terms are long enough.”

Dr Shaw said Australia’s world-class intellectual property system supported innovation and “it will be important to ensure that Australia maintains this reputation in the future”.