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Published on : Oct 05, 2015

The Atlanta conference in which were held the talks between a dozen Pacific nations over a free-trade deal, has now extended into its fifth day on Sunday. The conference has now been directed into solving the issue of the duration for which pharmaceutical companies can hold their monopoly over biotech drugs.

The United States has debated in favor of longer protection durations to encourage greater innovation, as opposed to Australia and delegations from five other nations who are saying that elongating the duration would only strain the budgets of national healthcare institutions. It will also deny life-saving drugs from patients who cannot afford them while the drugs are protected.

The U.S. currently offers 12 years of exclusivity for the clinical data used in the development of various drugs including cancer therapy medicine Avastin, a drug that was developed by Genentech. Genentech is a division of Roche, Australia, and has argued in favor putting a protection duration of five years.

Andrew Robb, the Australian trade minister, spoke to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. He said that the answer is not as simple as splitting the topic down the middle. Both parties need to try and work it through.

Kyodo news agency from Japan published a Sunday report which revealed that the U.S. and Australia had finally reached a compromise that will set the protection duration up to eight years.

There have been multiple negotiations regarding the deal on the trans-pacific partnership, which should successfully reduce tariffs and establish a common mode for the 12 economies that will be led by the U.S. and Japan. The two economies will jointly account for 40.0% of the global output