DavidBGray / iSockphoto.com
The patent system in the US and the EU is not rewarding complex research into treatments for a host of prevalent diseases and conditions, and reforms are going in the wrong direction, says Erika Lietzan of the University of Missouri School of Law.
For many of the diseases that are becoming increasingly prevalent as populations age, there is a dearth of new, effective pharmaceutical treatments and cures. Research and development (R&D) for Alzheimer’s disease, immunological conditions and a host of neurological diseases, for example, are scientifically challenging and can take many years.
Yet the IP system presides over an innovation paradox wherein these most difficult forms of R&D are rewarded the least. Moreover, this paradox is set to be compounded by recent proposals made by the European Commission to reform supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). These proposals, if adopted, would further undermine incentives to research these diseases—a worrying prospect given the ageing of European societies.
"The most challenging yet most needed forms of drug R&D—into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis, for instance—get the least reward from the IP system."
You need a subscription to continue reading this content.
To access the full archive, digital magazines and special reports you will need to take out a paid subscription.
News stories up to a week old and feature articles on the day of publication are accessible with a BASIC FREE ACCOUNT.
If you have already subscribed please login.
If you have any technical issues please email tech support.
For access to the complete website, archive, and to receive print publications, choose '12 MONTH SUBSCRIPTION'. For a free, two-week trial with full access, select ‘TWO WEEK FREE TRIAL’; and for basic access to the latest news on the website and weekly email news alerts choose the 'BASIC FREE ACCOUNT' registration.
Erika Lietzan, University of Missouri School of Law, R&D, SPC, drug approval schemes, drugs, innovation paradox