[Ip-health] [A2k] WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents: Obama Administration's proposal on patents and health

Amy Kapczynski akapczynski at law.berkeley.edu
Thu Dec 8 11:59:23 PST 2011

I looked online but couldn't find a copy of the Branstetter piece - does anyone know it / have a copy?  

The Berndt piece shows that drugs are launched faster in rich than poor countries, but can't do much given its design to say why.  So, it looks at a subset of new drugs launched in the US from 2000 to 2009, and examines when they were launched in a small number of other countries: Germany, Poland, Spain, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, China, and India.  It doesn't compare different developing countries with different levels of IP protection, but developing to developed countries.  It concludes that new drugs are launched faster in all the developed countries than in the developing countries.  This of course isn't surprising, given all of the confounding reasons that drugs might be launched more quickly in rich countries.

In fact, the piece offers evidence that non-patent market factors are significant - finds that companies are more likely to launch drugs in certain therapeutic classes in developing countries (e.g. antiparasitics compared to cardiovascular drugs), and same with drugs that are more profitable, i.e. higher US sales.  The authors also note that drugs are launched more quickly in countries that have larger healthcare budgets, but as far as I can tell, don't attempt to control for this, or for anything related to burden of disease or potential local market share, in their analysis.

And of course, drug launch is simply one variable in the access equation - to their credit, the authors admit that they have nothing to say about the net impact of IP standards for welfare in developing countries . You'd think that would be the question the US was interested in, but apparently not.

Amy Kapczynski

On Dec 8, 2011, at 12:03 AM, Erik Hjalmar Josefsson wrote:

> On 12/08/2011 08:53 AM, Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam wrote:
>> 1 “Intellectual Property Rights and Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence”, Lee Branstetter, Carnegie Mellon University&  NBER.
>> 2 “Diffusion of New Drugs in the Post-TRIPS Era”, Ernst Berndt et al., Int. J. of the Economics of Business, Vol. 18, No. 2, July 2011, pp.203-224.
> Who are these footnote guys? Have they really shown that more goods become available in developing countries when IP rights are strengthened there[1] and that in the particular case of medicines, it has been shown that all else being equal, a new drug is more likely to be launched in a country where patent protection is strong, rather than one where such protection is lacking[2]?
> Would they agree that is what they have shown?
> //Erik
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