Gene patent laws must change to protect Australians

The Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal against the patenting of genetic mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer highlights why patent law in Australia needs to change, Cancer Council Australia believes.

Director of Advocacy, Paul Grogan, said that given the unanimous Federal Court ruling is an interpretation of Australian law, the law itself needs to change to protect healthcare consumers from gene monopolies.

“Australian women were only protected from an attempted commercial monopoly over the BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests in 2008 because the company that threatened to take those tests away from public laboratories withdrew its patent claims voluntarily,” Mr Grogan said.

“There was nothing in the law to protect healthcare consumers from the monopolisation of those diagnostic tests – and there still isn’t.

“The ruling puts Australia out of step with the US, where the Supreme Court invalidated the Myriad patents.

“If the difference is in the way Australian patent law is interpreted, then there is a strong case to change the law.

“The patents system should reward innovation and help deliver affordable healthcare, not stymie research and increase costs by allowing commercial entities to control the use of human genetic materials.”

Source: Cancer Council Australia

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

LET’S KEEP

IN TOUCH!

We’re sorry!

We hate annoying pop-up windows too,

but before you hit the x button, please

take three seconds and subscribe to our

website for free. We’re a team of

dedicated volunteer journalists and

we’d really appreciate your support by

supporting us by subscribing below. 

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

LET’S KEEP

IN TOUCH!

We’re sorry!

We hate annoying pop-up windows too,

but before you hit the x button, please

take three seconds and subscribe to our

website for free. We’re a team of

dedicated volunteer journalists and

we’d really appreciate your support by

supporting us by subscribing below. 

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.