Magazine article Marketing

Government Loses Battle over EC Drugs Proposal

Magazine article Marketing

Government Loses Battle over EC Drugs Proposal

Article excerpt

Government loses battle over EC drugs proposal

UK drug firms have scored a major coup with the defeat of a Government move which could have opened the door to cheap, unbranded alternatives.

The Government met defeat in the Commons when it tried to amend an EC attempt to give medicinal products 16 years' patent protection from the time they hit the market.

The Government wants it reduced to 13 years -- to save money for the National Health Service (NHS), the country's biggest purchaser of drugs. A shorter patent life allows earlier entry of cheaper generic alternatives at a saving of 30m [pounds] a year for the NHS.

The Government thinks 13 years is a reasonable compromise on the present system. Although UK law allows 20-year patents for pharmaceuticals, the time spent on research and market authorisation cuts the effective patent protection to ten years.

Labour disagrees with the 30m [pounds] cost-saving figure. …

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