Trade pact could lead to higher meds prices

Australian consumers may be forced to pay more for medicines under a new draft proposal for Pacific trade negotiations.

A draft intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement was published online by whistle-blower group WikiLeaks, outlining the confidential negotiating positions of several countries on copyright, patents and other intellectual property issues.

In its current form, the draft chapter showed a push to extend protection for medicines, which would keep prices high for longer and delay the introduction of cheaper