Bureaucratic Roadblocks Threaten Biopharma Growth
There is a clear link between a country’s rate of economic development and the strength of its intellectual property laws. This is particularly true in knowledge-intensive sectors such as biopharmaceuticals.
The good news is that some mature and emerging economies are making growing use of patent systems to facilitate biotechnology research and commercialization. The bad news is that a number of countries have established bureaucratic and burdensome hurdles to patentability. This reality stands to harm innovation everywhere.
Patent uncertainty abroad
Despite the 2010 declaration by the then-President of India that the next 10 years will be a “Decade of Innovation,” the use of a compulsory license, a series of patent revocations, and weak enforcement efforts raise serious concerns about India’s commitment to promote innovation.
The tragedy underlying this anti-intellectual property position is not simply that it diverts attention away from the real problems of access to health-care that millions of Indians face, but that it undermines the nation’s goal of becoming a healthcare and science innovator. There are companies around the world interested in collaborating in research, science, and the development of medicines in India. India’s anti-intellectual property position makes it difficult, and often impossible, for such deals to happen.
It is imperative for governments that want to foster a robust biotech innovation environment to create a set of strong intellectual property standards--particularly those governing data protection, patents, and trade secret protection--that are relevant to biological products.
Protecting IP, leveraging risk
With no source of product revenue and long development times before market launch, biopharmaceutical companies must leverage the strength of their global patent portfolio to raise the large amounts of capital required to get their innovations to the market.
Upholding the system of intellectual property rights is essential to guaranteeing future innovation and future jobs not just for US biopharmaceutical companies, but also for other countries and other industries around the world.
The 2014 BIO International Convention, taking place June 23-26 in San Diego, will host an Emerging Opportunities in Global Markets Forum specifically designed to highlight biotech initiatives in global markets, looking at both emerging economies and global initiatives and trends that affect the industry’s landscape. The Forum will overview developments in key markets, cross-cutting policy trends, unique collaborations, and cross border initiatives to further innovation. To learn more, visit convention.bio.org.
About the Author