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Drug Patents And Generic Drugs In Chile

642 words - 3 pages

Patent rights, usually lasting up to 20 years before expiration, allow the pharmaceutical company which produced the drug, the right and ability to sell it. These patents create a temporary monopoly which allowing firms who paid for production to make a profit for their investment. Generally after the patent has expired, the drug is then mass produced under generic labeling, and is often much cheaper and accessible than was the patented version. But throughout the duration of the patent, availability of the drug has become a large problem. With only one company having exclusive rights in marketing and manufacturing the drug, it becomes unavailable in some countries and its high costs prevent those in need from obtaining it. The Drug Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act allows the FDA to approve the production of generic versions of previously patented drugs by bypassing the redundant health and safety research measures reducing the additional amount of years for public ...view middle of the document...

Due to the lengthy judicial process required for companies to prove patent infringement in Chile, this protection has been proved ineffective. In Chile, the pharmaceutical market is worth about US$2 billion annually. But, according to the Ministry of Health, patented brand name drugs only represented a little over 40% of this market. The rest of the market is split between counterfeit drugs produced by a laboratory without a patent, private label drugs, and generic drugs. Since brand name drugs are much pricier – around ten times the price of generic drugs –Chilean consumers often choose a cheaper version. When a patent expires, usually 20 years after it is filed, generic drugs with a similar bioequivalence can be legally produced and sold in Chile. But some laboratories do not wait for the patent to expire and register new patents for drugs that contain identical active ingredients, infringing upon another company’s intellectual property.
The Republic of Chile believes that IP should be safeguarded and that pharmaceutical companies should be able to keep their patents and make profits. It is necessary for companies to keep their patents because it keeps the companies innovative in order to make money. But, the Republic of Chile also has concerns over the amount of people and countries that do not have access to certain drugs due to cost or barriers. This is dangerous and a cause of death to many in poorer countries. The Republic of Chile proposes a compromise which will ensure both profit for the pharmaceutical companies while benefitting all those in need of medication. The companies should sell their products to nations depending on the country’s wealth and state of development. Countries that are underdeveloped and have a very poor financial status should be sold, under the patent, the drug for an affordable price, while those countries, modern, developed, and prosperous, should be sold the very drug for a higher price. In short, by raising prices for the wealthier countries and lowering them for the poorer nations, the companies can make the same amount of profit and also ensure a widespread use of the drug to public benefit despite financial backgrounds. And after the patent expires, it can be sold affordably and made generically, adhering to status quo, continuing the drugs benefit against health problems worldwide.

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