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(Australia) Trade Agreement May Undercut Importing of Inexpensive Drugs

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kysrsoze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-04 09:49 PM
Original message
(Australia) Trade Agreement May Undercut Importing of Inexpensive Drugs
Edited on Sun Jul-11-04 10:09 PM by kysrsoze
WASHINGTON, July 11 Congress is poised to approve an international trade agreement that could have the effect of thwarting a goal pursued by many lawmakers of both parties: the import of inexpensive prescription drugs to help millions of Americans without health insurance.

The agreement, negotiated with Australia by the Bush administration, would allow pharmaceutical companies to prevent imports of drugs to the United States and also to challenge decisions by Australia about what drugs should be covered by the country's health plan, the prices paid for them and how they can be used.

It represents the administration's model for strengthening the protection of expensive brand-name drugs in wealthy countries, where the biggest profits can be made.

In negotiating the pact, the United States, for the first time, challenged how a foreign industrialized country operates its national health program to provide inexpensive drugs to its own citizens. Americans without insurance pay some of the world's highest prices for brand-name prescription drugs, in part because the United States does not have such a plan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/12/politics/12DRUGready....

Well, here we go again. What a bunch of fuckwads!
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-11-04 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Unreal - right wing AU gov gets together with right wing US - and all lose
Edited on Sun Jul-11-04 10:19 PM by papau
At least things USUALLY have a withdrawel clause. But the uge to screw the world in the name of fairness (as Dr. Mark B. McClellan, the former commissioner of food and drugs now in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, said last year - foreign price controls left American consumers paying most of the cost of pharmaceutical research and development - and that was unacceptable) is number one under the right wing GOP - as if any of the extra money that the drug companies make will be thrown away on research that has no profit in the next quarter.

So Bush screws folks with high drug prices via giving Drug companies - as patent owners - a right to "prevent importation" of products on which they own the patents.

The trade pact is "almost completely inconsistent with drug-import bills" that have broad support in Congress, Mr. Levin said.

But the Australian drug price versus effectiveness testing would be outlawed - great - a competive market model based on advertising at last - no more "artificial price controls" and we have the US model als Bill Gates of real marketplace incentives for innovation via claiming a monopoly via lawyers - even if you do not have such a monoploy!

I rather would have the US set up something like Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, under which government officials decide which drugs to cover and how much to pay for them, so that before the government decides whether to cover a drug, experts analyze its clinical benefits, safety and "cost-effectiveness," compared with other treatments. And not allow the drug companies to challenge decisions on coverage and payment in Court.

So will the Australian Parliament believe the Australian trade minister, Mark Vaile, when he lies and promises that "there is nothing in the free trade agreement that would increase drug prices in Australia" - and go on to approve it?

Or will truth matter - as in the report from a committee of the Australian Parliament that saw a serious possibility that "Australians would pay more for certain medicines," and that drug companies would gain more leverage over government decisions there?

Stay Tune - decision in a few weeks! Right after gay marriage!




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kysrsoze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Kick - this is awfully important
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