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Glasson has his sights on Rudd

Former AMA President Dr Bill Glasson has admitted he faces a “David versus Goliath” battle as he tries to unseat former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd from the Griffith electorate at the next federal election. Dr Glasson, who was AMA President between 2003 and 2005, defeated a field of three other candidates to win Liberal National Party preselection for the seat late last month.

30 Sep 2012

Former AMA President Dr Bill Glasson has admitted he faces a “David versus Goliath” battle as he tries to unseat former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd from the Griffith electorate at the next federal election.

Dr Glasson, who was AMA President between 2003 and 2005, defeated a field of three other candidates to win Liberal National Party preselection for the seat late last month.

The ophthalmologist, who is President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, lives close by Mr Rudd and knows the former Prime Minister well.

Coalition sources have acknowledged the medico faces a tough battle in trying to wrest the seat from Mr Rudd, who held onto Griffith with more than 58 per cent of the vote on a two-party preferred basis at the 2010 election.

His task has been made harder by the backlash against deep and controversial spending cuts and widespread sackings implemented by Queensland’s Liberal National Party Government since coming to office earlier this year.

But the former AMA President remained optimistic about his prospects.

“I still think it is a very winnable seat,” Dr Glasson told ABC radio in Brisbane. “I still think we can do it. Obviously, Kevin has been a very strong member for Griffith for a long time, but I think it is time for a change.”

AR

Setback for drug giant

The Federal Government has blocked a $270 million bid by pharmaceutical giant Aspen Global to buy rights to a portfolio of drugs sold in Australia including Amoxil, Zantac and Lamactil from the Glaxo Group.

In a brief statement, a senior adviser in the Foreign Investment and Trade Division of Treasury, Peter Van de Maele, declared the proposed deal would be blocked for up to 90 days pending a decision on whether it should be prohibited altogether under the provisions of the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act.

Aspen announced the proposed deal to acquire rights to 25 medicines distributed in Australia by GlaxoSmithKline in mid-August including analgesics, antibiotics, anti-virals and treatments for the central nervous system.

It said sales of the drugs reached almost $130 million last year, though it admitted revenues were likely to decline over time because of increased competition from generics and price cuts mandated under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Nonetheless, the company said, “the products represent an excellent fit with Aspen’s existing portfolio, and the added revenue will strengthen Aspen’s position as one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Australia”.

AR


Published: 30 Sep 2012