Biopharmaceutical R&D: Investments in Innovation, Jobs, and Economic Development

Innovation is the engine of economic growth and development. Research and development (R&D) spending is what creates jobs and makes innovation a reality. As the global economy continues to recover and regain its former strength, the pharmaceutical industry remains the world’s largest source of R&D spending. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, global pharmaceutical companies expect to spend just over $92 billion on research in 2015. Citing the 38th annual R&D Ratios & Budgets report from Schonfeld & Associates, the article notes that the pharmaceutical industry will spend 40% more than automotive companies which will be the second biggest investors at $65 billion.

Intellectual Property and Economic Development

"It is time for India’s leaders to recognize the positive role that IP can play in fostering growth and improving citizens’ wellbeing," states Rod Hunter (senior director for international economics on President George W. Bush’s National Security Council, is a senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) in his recent op-ed featured in Today's Zaman. "The reality is that IP protection is an economic engine that developing-country citizens should not have to forego."

The Future of Global Health Depends on Strong IPRs

An interesting article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker from IP WatchDog (Feb. 17, 2014) in regards to a recent report from the University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy and at the London School of Economics (LSE). Dr. Lybecker highlights that "While intellectual property rights are essential to medical progress, policymakers must balance the needs of current populations against rewards for innovators as well as the needs of future populations. In this context, the authors note that preserving and sometimes strengthening intellectual property rights are essential to continued innovation."

Perhaps most importantly, she notes that "Underinvesting in innovation for the future would harm both the interests of patients and the global public."

Evolving Indian patent trends and their implications for patients around the world

By Pravin Anand and Archana Shanker.
Intellectual Property cases in India have witnessed an exponential growth in the last 10 years with the increase in infringement actions before the High Courts and the plethora of decisions rendered by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), especially with respect to pharmaceutical patents. These decisions have ramifications for patients in India and around the world, and it is becoming increasingly clear that a top-down reform of the entire system is necessary. To protect the intellectual property of innovators and ensure the latest life-saving medicines are able to reach the Indian patients, India’s patent system must begin to reflect established international norms. Indeed, the rapid increase in cases where patents are revoked, denied or otherwise infringed upon sets a dangerous precedent that could effectively bar new pharmaceuticals from being approved in India, as innovators become increasingly wary that their intellectual property could simply be expropriated without proper compensation.

The Importance of Economic Development and Growth

An interesting article by Dr. Kristina Lybecker published in IP WatchDog addressing the question of what truly influences a population's access to medicines.

As the TPP negotiations continue this week, the debate over intellectual property rights and access to medicines continues as well. In the quest to eliminate barriers to access it is critical to correctly identify what factors genuinely inhibit access. In the context of this TPP Agreement, strong intellectual property rights enhance trade and growth, which enhances access to medicines. If greater access is to be achieved, safeguarding the protections surrounding innovation is essential, for it encourages investment, technology transfer, and economic prosperity.

Access to Medicines: Patients’ Perspectives

Guest blog by Durhane Wong-Rieger, PhD -- Chair of the International Alliance of Patients' Organizations.

For patients around the world maintaining an economic and social environment in which innovation can thrive while, at the same time, enhancing affordable access to better preventive and curative care are key issues. Patients have an important role to play in guiding and supporting innovation with special reference to intellectual property development IP and world health improvement.

Biopharmaceuticals: Saving Lives and Saving Money

The biopharmaceutical sector invests in research that improves health and lengthens lives. Researchers in the biopharma industry are working on treatments for diseases than range from AIDS to Tuberculosis to West Nile Virus. These medicines improve the quality of our lives and also lower our healthcare bills. Research shows that each dollar increase in pharmaceutical spending yields as reduction in hospital expenses of $3.65.

Economic and Social Benefits of Medical Innovation

Technology is, to a remarkable degree, a local not global asset. Research has established that innovation in high tech industries is enhanced by geographic concentration, which facilitates R&D spillovers. Proximity facilitates collaboration, technological spillovers and enhances innovative productivity. All of these benefits are facilitated by an environment of secure intellectual property rights and safeguards for innovation.

Trade, Innovation and Health

Recent months have seen increasing coverage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and an increasing number of contributions and expert opinions on the value of this agreement. There is growing recognition of the importance of the TPP for America’s innovative industries and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in particular. These industries provide a telling glimpse of the critical nature of intellectual property (IP) protection to the US economy. The value of IP protection is essential to both public health and safety, as well as US jobs.

Global R&D Convention: a boon for patients or a political nightmare?

The following is an interesting post from the Apothecurry blog on the topic of the global R&D convention proposed by an expert working group of the World Health Organization. In theory, the convention would complement the existing patent system and be of great benefit to patients around the world. In practice, it's easy to imagine how this ideal system could get derailed. The WHO's executive board is scheduled to revisit the idea (and perhaps consider alternatives) in 2013.


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