[Ip-health] The Novartis case
Riaz K Tayob
riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 12:05:14 PDT 2013
All patents are not equal, I suppose... taking a sectoral look, patents
certainly benefit producers, but also act as hindrances as we see from
the harvest in the US from years of low quality patents in the court
rooms by ICT companies...
A market without ethics, as seems to be advocated here (apart from
abstract property rights that must be protected come what may), would
look like, well Wall Str with foreclosed homes everywhere... perhaps the
mantra 'the market is always right' needs to be considered from a
different point of view...
On 2013/04/01 04:59 PM, Peter Pitts wrote:
> Where there there is no patent protection there is no investment. And where there is no investment there is no innovation.
There is a kernel of truth about rewards for innovation, which the
Venetians saw early on - but it is a political construction, their 14
years became our 20 years, as the system is plastic.
And as the US amply shows, innovation can be publicly funded. Hello
Google, NIH, etc...
> Minus patent protection, an innovator company can't earn back what it invested in R&D, ergo they can't reinvest their profits in further R&D -- further delaying crucial incremental innovation which is how medical progress is made.
The investment/protection trade off is something the Europeans made
popular. Historically the trade off is monopoly for exchange of
information, some WIPO staff even fall for this ahistorical argument.
Protecting investment taken to its logical extreme would mean that every
investment ought to be recouped, which just ain't how the system works.
Incremental innovation is important, but is it novel? And here views can
The problem for the health IPR rentiers is that the monopolies are
coming to an end, and they are found wanting on innovation.
> The Indian decision is a horrible blow to global public health -- and particularly to the Third World, because economically-driven, short-term decisions have deadly unintended consequences.
Unintended consequences. This sounds like a classical admonishment not
to do anything because one faces futility, perversity, jeopardy as well.
But companies know that there is flexibility in enforcement, just ask
Bayer on Anthrax in the US, and should manage this risk. They should
charge higher prices in the rich countries??? And so the EC is going
full on for an FTA with India, as part of this process. Contrary, I
think, to an EU Parliament decision. Activists and business in India
have managed their risks, and here seem to be acting for the public good.
Surely you can't be advocating that people should die for want of money?
And if the flexibility was not available to India will the companies do
what they did to the African's by allowing People Living with HIV to die
so some companies can make a buck? If this is the case, you will be in
good company. Margeret Chan of WHO and Pascal Lamy came out and said
people should eat pork during the swine flu pandemic, but nary a word on
In finance, Keynes talked about the euthanasia of the rentier class.
India's court ruling is perhaps in that spirit for the IPR rentiers.
Well done to them.
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