Pharma companies accused of manipulation of patents

ACCESS to cheaper and better drugs is being hampered in Australia by canny manipulation of patent regulations by pharmaceutical companies, the Productivity Commission says.

In a draft report on intellectual property released on Friday, the commission notes that concessions allowing pharmaceutical patent-holders to extend their period of market exclusivity imposes costs on Australian taxpayers while rewarding multinational companies.

Only 4.3% of applications for pharmaceutical patents filed between 2001 and 2014 were made by Australian