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Trends in Drug Patenting - Case Studies
(2001; 78 pages) [Spanish]
The patents system was devised in order to reward inventiveness, encourage technical progress and foster the dissemination of innovations. The restriction on the free movement of ideas that the granting of a patent entails is usually justified by the inventor’s contribution to society and by the need to recover the investment necessary for invention. In the pharmaceutical field, only a few (several dozen) “new chemical entities” (i.e. molecules not pre-existing) are developed and patented each year. Nonetheless, thousands of patents are granted annually in this sector. This paradox can be explained by the enormous capacity that the sector’s major firms have built up not only for developing authentic inventions, but also for taking out patents on secondary, occasionally trivial developments, in order to extend their monopoly over a product or process, beyond that allowed by the original patent. The cases examined illustrate some of the patenting practices used in the pharmaceutical sector that may be detrimental to competition, and in particular affect the early access to cheaper alternative products by the public. The cases cover a broad range of products whose value as medicaments is different. Their common trait is the use of the occasionally excessive flexibility of the patent system to set up barriers to legitimate competition.
Table of Contents
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsTHE CASES
View the documentCONCLUSIONS
View the documentABBREVIATIONS
View the documentREFERENCES

Trends in Drug Patenting - Case Studies



Diseño de tapa:
Departamento de Arte

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© Ediciones Corregidor, 2001
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Study prepared for the Departament of Essential Medicines an Pharmaceutical Policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the framework of the Network for Monitoring the Impact of Globalization and TRIPS on Access to Essential Drugs. The author thanks the contributions made by A. Alvarez and E. Berger. This document is not an official publication of WHO, and the author is solely responsible for the content of the study. Translated from Spanish with the assistance of the WHO Secretariat.


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