20 Jul 2012

Manufacturers seek better protection for data

8:19 am on 20 July 2012

Agricultural chemical and veterinary medicine manufacturers are waiting to see if the Government will do anything to improve data protection for their products to safeguard them from competitors.

New Zealand allows five years protection for data that companies are required to provide when they register new chemicals for use here, but nothing for new uses or formulations for chemicals already in use.

The body representing the industry, AGCARM, wants that extended to 10 years as in Australia and many other countries.

It says the lack of protection is restricting the release of new treatments in New Zealand.

AGCARM chief executive Graeme Peters says the Government is due to announce the outcome of a review next month but says indications of its intentions so far, haven't been promising.

Mr Peters says the Government's proposals issued in October were very disappointing because there was pretty much no change to the existing regime.

"But they were looking at one change which was instead of no data protection for new uses and reformulated products they would look at anywhere from zero, which is the same as what we've got now, to up to three years protection".

Mr Peters says AGCARM was asking for 10 years and would have taken five, while three years would be an absolute minimum.

He says two years would not be enough and would not fix the problem it has in terms of limited access to agrichemicals and veterinary medicines.