[ExI] Problem with Pattents

James Clement clementlawyer at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 25 19:53:30 UTC 2008

Stefano Vaj wrote:


Just to play the devil's advocate, take the pharma patent. They last
the usual 20 years. Yet, the single molecule that arrives on the
market, with a more or less wide target, has a commercial life of
little more than 10. Moreover, it has to pay in the same period the
R&D efforts related to some twenty other molecules that did not go
anywhere, or that were never authorised for human consumption. The
imitator has just trivial manufacturing costs plus its margins, and
can sell generics at less than half the total cost per unit of the
developer of a new drug.

Who ever would be in a position to get the financing necessary to new
drug development with shorter patents, or no patents at all? The
current regime is already heavily in favour of multinationals so large
and with pocket so deep that can afford a few failures without going
bankrupt by working on very high volumes.


Because it's a FIFO registration process for patent applications, my guess
is that organizations strive to patent their drugs long before they actually
have FDA approval.  Since such approvals may easily take 7 to 10 years to
get, that's also a substantial decrease in the amount of time over which
they can sell the product exclusively.

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