As we previously reported, on 15 October 2012 the Australian Government announced a review into the effectiveness of the pharmaceutical patents system in Australia. A pharmaceutical patent is defined, for the purposes of the review, as "a patent for a medicine, or that directly relates to a medicine".

Release of Issues Paper

On 21 November 2012 the Pharmaceutical Patents Review Panel released its Background and Issues Paper, seeking submissions from the public on a wide range of issues relating to the effectiveness of the current pharmaceutical patents system. The review panel is due to provide its final report to the Australian Government by April 2013. Interestingly, the Issues Paper also raises questions in relation to data exclusivity for pharmaceuticals, and copyright for pharmaceutical product information documents.

Public submissions

The closing date for submissions is 21 January 2013. The Issues Paper, and the review panel's blog, can be viewed at