• US adds Canada to IP watch list, due to cheaper generic pharmaceuticals
    68 replies, posted
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-ip/u-s-keeps-china-puts-canada-on-ip-priority-watch-list-idUSKBN1HY24J The Trump administration on Friday labeled 36 countries as inadequately protecting U.S. intellectual property rights, keeping China on a priority watch list and adding Canada over concerns about its border controls and pharmaceutical practices. The biggest surprise in Friday’s report was the decision to move Canada from the lower-level “Watch List” to the same priority list as China. USTR cited Canada’s “poor border enforcement,” especially for counterfeit goods shipped through America’s northern neighbor, and concerns about intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals. U.S. pharmaceutical companies have long complained that generic versions of drugs still under U.S. patent protection flood in from Canada at much cheaper prices.
Like that's going to discourage us. Just because the US can't be bothered to adopt a civilized approach to health care doesn't mean we're going to sacrifice the interests of our own people to please them.
U.S. pharmaceutical companies have long complained that generic versions of drugs still under U.S. patent protection flood in from Canada at much cheaper prices. I'm sorry if my continued existence is effecting your profit margins, I guess I'll just die now since I can't afford non-generic drugs.
The higher-up executives/CEOs of these American pharmaceutical companies should be in prison. Disgraceful.
Because it takes time and research to make said medicines. Without financial incentives, we wouldn't have nearly as many medical breakthroughs because there'd be no profit incentive. Also, if they weren't allowed to own the right to their medicine then other companies might steal their formula and hog all their glory. Or so the argument goes.
yeah if I couldn't buy my medication from Canada I just wouldn't be able to afford it, it's straight up like a few hundred dollars a month cheaper. pharmaceutical companies can eat my depressed dick
Ah you see, a good health insurance plan will be able to cover the costs of expensive drugs in the unfortunate situation where you need them. Oh wait...
I wonder if they're gonna put Pennsylvania on that watch list too. I always see signs in pharmacies that PA has a state law that allows pharmacies to substitute brand name drugs for generic ones.
When your nation is literally trying to stop another nation from giving you a more affordable way of healthcare. You know we're in a special kind of fucked up situation...
Heard my dad agree with this bullshit, "they did all the research, its not fair they get their work stolen". Id agree if it didnt cost pennies to make most of the common life saving drugs. remember epipen's bullshit: https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/57bdfa46ce38f237008b8b48-750-563.png yeah, big pharma can go get bent.
"But the research costs!" If it's such a big deal, we should just give the government more tax money to fund this sort of stuff rather than 'force' companies to 'charge lots of money for the drugs'.
But the epipen IS generic. The patent has expired and thus competitors CAN move in to put pressure on the prices. In fact their are products put out by competitors but no one wants to buy them because of complicated market reasons.
Drug patents are 40 years. It's pretty stupid because investors don't think in time lengths that long.
Where did you get this number from. Every resource I find says 20 years from filing.
I was more talking about the most common and life saving drug that has been on the market for decades was bought by a big pharma company. Who then spent a shit ton of money on ads to just push the same exact pen, but charge 6x as much. The money isn't going to some research, its going to funding ads on prime time television during the Olympics while exploiting the price. All of them do this and have been doing this for years. Getting estrogen supplements is stupid expensive in the US, costing 80-120$ a month for menopausal women's bodies to return to normal. Meanwhile my grandmother would hop the border in washington to canada and get half a years worth for that much. Big pharma is a massive cancer, same with almost all healthcare facilities in the US.
But I don't think getting rid of the whole industry is the right thing to do. I find it difficult to believe that any government, or combination of governments, can just take over the whole thing. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with Big Pharma advertising to the public since I haven't lived in the US. The regulations that deal with exclusivity of generics had good intentions when devised but have clearly been abused. I am cautiously optimistic that this will be dealt with.
Seems you're right. I could have sworn it was 40 for drug patents.
In the UK, I think our medication patents are either 5 or 10 years depending on the type of drug, with generic versions following after. It seems to work at both making medication affordable whilst incentivising R&D. GlaxoSmithKline do a lot of research here, so I assume it's an effective system for keeping profit margins at the same time as looking after our citizenry.
Every brit that comes to the us immediately sees how big big pharma is. There an ad for a drug every commercial break, literal millions are spent on ads for non gemeric drugs every year. They treat drugs that can save lives on par with the next big videogame or car.
To add on to that Big Pharma is heavily automated from R&D to production while also abusing any tax evasion loopholes they can so at this point they don't really give back to the people or government at all and are more akin to giant festering leeches.
It might shock you to know that almost every antibiotic in use today started its life as a patented drug.
It might shock you to learn that Fleming, the man who invented Pencillin, specifically went out of his way to ensure that it was as widely available as possible - which included not patenting his discovery. He was, in fact, specifically told by Sir Henry Hallett Dale that doing would be, and I am directly quoting Sir Henry Dale: unethical. Andrew Jackson Moyer nonetheless patented a method for the mass production of pencillin - but without Fleming 'taking one for the team' the mass production of penicillin may have been so delayed that it may not have been available for mass treatment of infected soldiers by the Vietnam war - which would've resulted in countless deaths. So, no, it doesn't shock me to 'know that' because I already knew that. If Fleming had patented his drug there's a possibility we might not have even heard about his theory and experiments on the nature of how penicillium worked because he was famously a poor orator and writer. When he submitted his original research papers it took years for other scientists to even trial his theories and entertain them. If his drug was patented they might've not looked at his work entirely and his discovery might've gone completely unnoticed.
I doubt that patenting Penicillin would have hidden its utility. In any case, nowadays things are only interesting to biotech if it's patented/patentable. If you give away your idea for free then there's the assumption is that it's not worth very much unless the utility is immediately obvious. Antibiotics are actually one area that could use a review of patent law. The nature of the 20 year window means that the bulk of a drug's profit in front loaded right after the drug is released. Antibiotics would tend to be stockpiled instead of immediately sold widely in order to delay resistance but I don't think making the patent longer for antibiotics is the right solution.
Its theoretical utility was evident even before Fleming's discovery. The problem was they couldn't figure out why it worked - which meant that they couldn't ethically use it on patients, find real money to research it, and so forth. After all, before Fleming's discovery all of that was simple theory with only the barest incidental evidence backing it.
He may have discovered it, but without the efforts of several others penicillin could never have been developed into a useful drug; I'd even go so far as to say that he could not have patented it without the help of others. Much of the effort that went into developing it was driven by wartime needs so I'm doubtful of the impact that patenting it would have had on its development.
Luckily it isn't. Stuff's enough fucked up as is.
It was already a useful drug by the time efforts to industrialize it began. He had already developed a method to create and administer the drug with successful experiments demonstrating that it worked as he stated it did - and he did all this without a patent and without the efforts of Pfizer, etc. The main work was done by Oxford University, who were able to go after it in the way they did because it was unpatented; they figured out a way to produce the drug at scale, though not in mass, and the way to truly stabilize and purify the drug. As government interest in it continued to climb - and pressure for there to be mass quantities of it available should trials bear it out to be the wonder drug it seemed to be - other British companies began to be brought into the fold and tried to mass produce it - though, again, with only limited success due to their conditions and how committed the chemical industry already was in supporting various other parts of the war. When it was brought to the attention of American scientists in 1941 the NRRL took interest - and that was the gateway to the drug's mass manufacture. If he had patented it, it wouldn't have developed - that's the impact it would've had. He was a no-name nobody who nobody took seriously who couldn't write or sell his discovery to save his life. Hell, when he published in the British Journal of Pathology he hardly even explained the medical benefits of his discovery. If his work had not been available, penicillium might not have even had the opportunity to be developed into a useful drug until decades later - if even then.
If someone discovered a drug like that they would immediately patent it so they could sell it and make literal billions. The entire point of a patent system is to incentivise the development of novel products or processes by granting market exclusivity. Someone could, in theory, do what you described, but they would have to be unimaginably rich and absolutely batshit insane. You're wrong on the other point as well. First, if a company starts selling a new drug without patenting it, I can absolutely guarantee you that others will come along and manufacture it before the first patients even receive the drug. Why bother spending hundreds of millions doing R&D for a new drug when you can just wait for someone else to do it for you, then manufacture and sell it yourself? Secondly, you cannot "bar treatment of the disease entirely due to a held patent", because that's not how drug patents work. Drug patents are (usually) composition of matter patents, and they cover all uses of the active ingredient. It's possible to patent new uses for a drug, or new formulations, but those typically come under a lot more scrutiny and are regularly challenged in courts. What is most certainly not possible is to patent a method of treating a disease in such a way that no one else can create and sell their own methods of treating the disease. Incorrect. Fleming could never purify penicillin beyond a crude extract of the culture broth. While he succeeded in demonstrating its safety in animal and human trials, and characterised its antibacterial properties, it was the Oxford team that ultimately purified and characterised the active compound itself. This initial work on penicillin by the Oxford team was purely academic in nature: a patent would have had no impact on their work.
A patent on pencillin would not be the first nor the latest example of a patent slowing academic research. Also, as I stated: A novel invention which is patented may not be easily replicated even under a great deal of profit motive. You can't create new formulations if you can't find a way to replicate the formula.
I'm interested in these examples you speak of. The patent literature is often a valuable source of information in academic research, and indeed without it a lot of information would not have been disclosed in the interests of maintaining commercial secrecy. As for your second point, you seem to be misunderstanding what a patent is. The holder of a patent is granted exclusive use of the described invention in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. A patent will not be granted, or it can be invalidated, if it is not sufficiently descriptive that someone skilled in the art could follow the descriptions given in the patent and come up with the invention on their own. In the absence of such information, however, it is still entirely trivial to take a pill sold by a competing company, analyse it, and determine what the active ingredient is as well as any other substances used in its compounding. From there it is also completely trivial to devise a synthesis of the active ingredient, and then a manufacturing process for the pill.
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