Intended for healthcare professionals


New free trade agreement sparks fight over drug pricing

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 27 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:213
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. Sydney

A push by the drug industry to raise the price of new drugs for hypertension looks set to become the battleground for the first major fight over the free trade agreement between Australia and the United States (BMJ 2004;329: 420).

The controversial agreement, which came into force on 1 January, urges recognition of innovation and gives US drug companies new mechanisms to review the Australian government's internationally recognised system of pricing drugs on the basis of evidence of their effectiveness.

Critics of the agreement have urged other nations negotiating bilateral agreements with the United States to be cautious.

In a recent article Peter Drahos, professor of law …

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