Chapter

Intellectual property rights and pharmaceutical development

Joan Rovira

in The Economics of New Health Technologies

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199550685
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199550685.003.0014
 Intellectual property rights and pharmaceutical development

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This chapter clarifies the concept of pharmaceutical innovation, how it is related to well-being and other social goals, and what the best way to promote it is. The first section addresses the various interpretations of the term ‘innovation’, especially in the field of medicines and health services in general, and how they differ across different actors, such as innovators, patent offices, and pricing and reimbursement agencies. The second section highlights the public characteristics of pharmaceutical innovation and how economic systems have addressed this market failure; it outlines the characteristics of intellectual property (IP) systems in pharmaceuticals, and the arguments for and against them. The third section addresses the problems of IP (intellectual property) systems in an increasingly globalized world and the negative effects of IP harmonization for access to medicines in developing countries. The fourth section outlines some of the alternative options that have been advocated to reform, complement, or substitute the present IP systems. The chapter ends with a review of the main findings and some concluding policy implications.

Keywords: pharmaceutical innovation; intellectual property; economic systems; IP harmonization; market failure

Chapter.  10667 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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