The Pharmaceutical Patent System Is Good for PatientsPharmaceutical PatentA pharmaceutical patent is a typical patent for any novel invention localized to the pharmaceuticals industry. As is the norm in most jurisdictions around the world, the pharmaceutical patent is the same as the chemical patent in terms of legal requirements while seeking a patent for a novel invention. A pharmaceutical patent cannot be classified as a sui generis (special patent type) (Bently and Sherman 213-215). Most experts concur that patents gain a particularly important when it comes to the pharmaceuticals industry. Unlike in other areas of invention, pharmaceutical patents usually protect large investments by organizations as opposed to individual inventions.
Generally, patent protection bears a great significance on the commercial survival of any company (Pressman 174-188). Pharmaceutical patents are especially necessary in the industry because they make development of new drugs possible. Pharmaceutical patents act as the core instrument protecting originator/inventing companies against their competition/generic companies. The maxim behind the patents is basically simple. The originator companies, also called inventor companies, invest millions of dollars in researching a disease, developing its medicine, marketing the drug and supplying it to the sick.
This has been the path taken by most innovative drugs in contemporary use (Schechter 34). It therefore becomes essential to protect these investors when they finally develop a valid drug so as to provide a justifiable reward for their innovation, a return on their heavy investment and incentives for their future research in innovative medicine (Cook 84-87). Most countries however have a limit to which a patent allows the monopoly of the patented discovery to be accessible to the originator or inventor.
Once the patent protection expires, an originator company usually loses its exclusive rights to the manufacturing and marketing of the patented medicine. Without the exclusive rights to the invention of the drug, many generic manufacturers enter the pharmaceutical market with numerous medicines more or less equivalent to the novel medicines once under pharmaceutical patent. The minimal investment that generic manufacturers have to it drug versions helps in lowering the counter prices of these drugs significantly. Allowing a patent to expire after some considerable time is meant help contain the public health budgets affordable.
It also helps to increase the consumer welfare besides creating incentives for the companies to commit to further innovation. Today, patents in both the pharmaceutical and the chemical industry feature a valuable source of bibliographic and technical information (Durham 143-161). Pharmaceutical Patent SystemOf all users of the patent system in a country, the pharmaceutical sector is among the most patent reliant. Records in the US patents registry as well as in other parts of the world indicate that very few new chemical products are approved for patent annually.
In fact, the number has been declining over the years (Grubb 261-273). Nonetheless, we have thousands of patent applications meant to protect variant products derived from an existing product, a patented manufacturing process or even second indications of an already patented pharmaceutical product. A patent system is the collection of national laws that grant patents to players of a particular industry. The patent system usually confers the exclusive rights of production, marketing, sale and even use of any patented subject matter to the inventor/originator. The system is used to legally restrain market competition for the originator for a determined amount of time, to allow them recoup and gather returns for their investment to research and development of the product (Wegner 234).