Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Ownership of Knowledge-The Role of Patents in Pharmaceutical R&D

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Ownership of Knowledge-The Role of Patents in Pharmaceutical R&D

Article excerpt

Resume

Propriete intellectuelle--Le role des brevets dans la R & D en pharmacie

Le secteur prive, comme le secteur publique, contribuent aux activites de recherche et developpement (R & D) dans le domaine pharmaceutique. Le secteur public est a l'origine de la decouverte d'un grand nombre de nouveaux medicaments. Le secteur prive, qui axe ses efforts sur le developpement, depend fortement des brevets. Bien que ceux-ci soient supposes recompenser de veritables inventions, le laxisme des lois sur la brevetabilite et les defauts de procedure permettent d'obtenir la protection d'une multitude de progres mineurs. Ces brevets, quoique faibles et eventuellement invalides dans de nombreux cas, sont utilises pour restreindre la concurrence et retarder l'entree en competition des generiques. Il convient que les pays en developpement concoivent et mettent en oeuvre leur legislation sur les brevets de maniere a prevenir la prise de brevets strategique et a promouvoir la concurrence et l'acces aux medicaments.

Resumen

Propiedad de los conocimientos--Funcion de las patentes en la I+D farmaceutica

Tanto el sector publico como el sector privado contribuyen a la investigacion y el desarrollo (I+D) de preparaciones farmaceuticas. Muchos de los descubrimientos de medicamentos nuevos tienen lugar en el sector publico. El sector privado, que se centra en el desarrollo, depende en gran medida de las patentes. Aunque se supone que estas recompensan autenticas invenciones, la laxitud de las normas acerca de la patentabilidad y los fallos de los procedimientos permiten obtener proteccion para innumerables desarrollos de poca importancia. Estas patentes, aunque poco consistentes y posiblemente carentes de validez en muchos casos, se usan para restringir la competencia y retrasar la introduccion de medicamentos genericos. Los paises en desarrollo deben disenar y aplicar sus leyes en la materia de manera que prevengan las patentes estrategicas y promuevan la competencia y el acceso a los medicamentos.

In his round table base paper, Carlos Maria Correa concludes that developing countries need to design and implement patent laws that prevent industry from restricting access to essential medicines. He argues that patents are often used to delay the development of generic products. John H. Barton, one of the four discussants, endorses Correa's proposed changes to patent law, but adds that other issues also affect the balance between drug development incentive and access. Amir Attaran then argues that there is no evidence to suggest that society benefits less from today's growing multiplicity of patents. Harvey E. Bale & Boris Azais reject Correa's arguments, saying that his policy prescription is based on an inaccurate diagnosis of the problem and on a flawed study. Finally, Christopher Garrison agrees with Correa that developing countries should pay more attention to their patent examination and granting procedures.

Although governments are responsible for a significant portion of global spending on research and development (R&D), since the 1980s a steep decline in the share of government funds for R&D is a trend common to all major industrialized countries and many other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. In the largest OECD countries (with the exception of Italy), the private sector performed between 62% and 70% of total national R&D (1).

Private and public sources also coexist in pharmaceutical R&D. The division of labour in pharmaceutical R&D between the two sectors is related, at least in principle, to the nature of the knowledge that is fostered (2). In most cases, the discovery of important new drugs is made by public institutions, which later license their development and exploitation to private firms. Some 70% of drugs with therapeutic gain were produced with government involvement (3). Basic research that led to the discovery of potential "drug leads" has almost always been publicly funded at universities, in-house government facilities, or research institutes in Europe, North America, and Japan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.