One of Australia’s biggest supplement makers is calling on the sector to unite in a bid to boost intellectual property protection to levels often afforded to the pharmaceutical sector.
Swisse Wellness says the sector needs to collectively lobby to win greater protection for patented nutritional interventions.
“The science meets the commerce where we need to invest more and more in science and research yet we are denied even the most basic of IP protections afforded to every other class of goods,” said Swisse Wellness commercial director, George Livery at the Complementary Healthcare Council (CHC) annual conference in Sydney recently.
“The industry needs data protection and regulatory protection. It won’t be data exclusivity as per the pharma model, but it may at least provide the chance for those who invest in science and research to at least make a return on investment and that would stimulate an avalanche of innovation via science and research, which could generate globally attractive products commercialised out of Australia.”
“If there is ever a time for us all to work together and get these new policy settings that time is now.”
Livery said the A$2bn (€1.4bn) Australian complementary medicines industry employed 5000 people directly and another 60,000 indirectly.
He said it invested about $20m (€14bn) a year in R&D even without substantial IP support.
Greater medical profession education about the role and potential of complementary medicines was also needed, he said.