Government support for ‘gene patents’ assures patient access to biological medicines

The Federal Government’s support for the patenting of genetic materials should enable patients to continue enjoying access to biological medicines, the chief executive of Medicines Australia Dr Brendan Shaw said today.

Dr Shaw said the Government’s decision would benefit Australian patients as well as researchers and manufacturers of biological medicines.

“Patents on biological materials are important because they guarantee ongoing investment in developing cutting-edge medicines and therapies,” Dr Shaw said.

“They ensure Australians have access to these medicines as soon as they become available.

“Four Government inquiries over the last decade, including two by the Australian Senate, have found that there is no case for banning patients on biological materials.

“I congratulate the Government for recognising the value of patents of biological materials for the advancement of medicine.”

Medicines Australia supports the Government’s Raising the Bar Bill, which will bring Australia’s intellectual property system into line with intellectual property systems in other OECD countries.

“There is no doubt that Australia’s patent system needs to be reformed,” Dr Shaw said.

“The Government’s Raising the Bar Bill is the most effective mechanism for achieving those reforms.

The Raising the Bar Bill, currently before the Parliament, is more balanced and constructive than the proposed ban on gene patents,” Dr Shaw said.

“It will encourage medical innovators and research scientists and will better serve the Australian community at large.”


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