Warning on cost of vitamins under US FTA
April 1, 2005
The cost of vitamins could rise under the Australia-United States free trade agreement, vitamin makers have warned.
Vitamin industry figures will meet senior Health Department officials and legal advisers in Canberra to thrash out their concerns.
FTA rules forcing producers to prove their new products do not infringe existing patents could cost them up to $80 million a year to comply, the Complementary Health Care Council of Australia said.
The rules were included in the FTA to guard US drug companies from generic drugmakers in Australia.
Non-compliance with the rules could result in fines of up to $110,000 and possible jail terms for company officers.
Compliance with the FTA rules was expected to add five to eight per cent to the cost of vitamins, the industry believed.
Representatives of major vitamin producer Blackmores and a team from the Complementary Health Care Council will attend the meeting.