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New From CFR: Thomas Bollyky on Drug Patents in the Developing World

by Development Channel Staff
April 11, 2013

A man buys cancer drug Glivec for a relative who is suffering from cancer at a pharmacy in a government-run hospital in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on April 2, 2013 (Amit Dave/Courtesy Reuters). A man buys the cancer drug Glivec for a relative who is suffering from cancer at a pharmacy in a government-run hospital in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad on April 2, 2013 (Amit Dave/Courtesy Reuters).

In light of an Indian court’s refusal to grant a patent to the leukemia drug Gleevec, CFR senior fellow Thomas Bollyky wrote yesterday about the tension between pharmaceutical firms seeking compensation for their products and developing countries seeking to make drugs more affordable to their populations. As he argues:

First, multinational drugs firms can, and should, reduce the cost of R&D, which would enable these firms to better function in the increasingly price-sensitive global marketplace for drugs… Second, multinational firms must realize that there are low-income segments of the global marketplace that these firms cannot serve, but whose health needs must be met for international support of the pharmaceutical, trade, and IP system to persist. These companies must again be willing to license their patents to emerging country generic manufacturers better able to meet the low-cost, high-volume treatment needs of their poor.

You can read the full article here on TheAtlantic.com.

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  • Posted by SAT GOEL

    These MNCs producing drugs price them without any relation to costs including R&D costs. There is drug produced by MSD used by elderly women having weak bones. One strip having four tablets of that was selling for US $ 63 in Bahrain while the same strip was sold in India ( imported from abroad) for US $ 7 thai is about one nineth of the price in Bahrain.

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