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Generics industry and doctors nervous over free trade deal

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 13 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1158
  1. Bob Burton
  1. Canberra

    The generic drug industry and doctors groups have warned that a proposed free trade agreement between Australia and the United States is likely to increase pressure on the Australian government's subsidised pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

    Under the scheme, the Australian government subsidises approved prescription drugs andnegotiates discounted prices from the manufacturer. Patients pay what is often a nominal “co-payment” on a prescription and are able to receive the approved drugs far more cheaply than they otherwise would.

    Supporters of the new trade agreement claim that it will make the pricing of drugs fairer. Alan Oxley, a lobbyist from the Australia-US Trade Agreement …

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