GSK, J&J, TPI want Australia to ease their pain on poppy supplies

Makers of pain drugs like GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and TPI Enterprises of Australia sit in a comfortable position compared with some competitors. Australia accounts for nearly half of the global supply of opium poppy plants that produce the ingredients needed for their products, the Financial Times points out. But drugmakers are in the midst of a political fight there as they press the government to expand production from the island of Tasmania to Australia's mainland. "We've recently suffered drought and storms in Tasmania and we just can't get enough crops. The existing monopoly situation is damaging the industry," Jarrod Ritchie, chief executive of TPI, tells the Financial Times. Tasmanian farmers, however, are resisting, putting pressure on politicians ahead of upcoming elections. Story