Boosting Pharmaceutical Innovation in the Post-TRIPS Era

Boosting Pharmaceutical Innovation in the Post-TRIPS Era

Real-Life Lessons for the Developing World

Burcu Kilic

This timely book investigates the concept of innovation and illustrates the crucial role that patent strategies play within processes of pharmaceutical innovation. Drawing on extensive country and company case studies, it identifies the key issues relevant to the revival of local pharmaceutical industries. Based on an understanding of the post-TRIPS environment and case studies of national innovation strategies, it specifically addresses an important question – to what extent can lessons from national experiences be transferred to current policy developments for innovation in the pharmaceutical industry in a developing country context?

Chapter 7: Real life lessons for the developing world

Burcu Kilic

Subjects: law - academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical law, intellectual property law


The emergence of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has long been a subject of controversy. Much attention has been devoted to the the alleged destructive consequences of its implementation in developing countries. The global implementation process has raised important issues in relation to patent barriers, and access to medicines. More importantly, it has added a layer of additional complexity for local generic drug companies in relation to local technical expertise and scientific infrastructure. It is widely accepted that TRIPS, and the global patent rules that it has introduced, potentially affects the ability of developing countries to catch up. This is particularly clear in the area of pharmaceuticals, where patents are strongly and positively correlated with research and development (R & D) activity. Given the fact that local pharmaceutical production in developing countries has traditionally concentrated on the area of generic drugs, boosting local pharmaceutical innovation is not an easy task for developing countries. However, it is not an impossible task. Unfortunately, there is no ideal recipe for developing a strategic plan, nor is there a best model that each country may adopt. Nevertheless, there are certain ingredients that are common to innovation and R & D policies. The previous chapters attempted to identify these ingredients, that is, the provision of a fine-tuned intellectual property rights (IPRs) system, which incorporates TRIPS flexibilities and the enabling of a reliable innovation system tailored to the local realities and needs of the country.

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