[Ip-health] Do Pharmaceutical Firms Invest More Heavily in Countries with Data Exclusivity?"

George Carter gmcfiar at gmail.com
Thu May 16 05:46:41 PDT 2013

What you don't seem to get is the notion that patents, the way they are employed, are HARMING science, medicine, discovery and human life. You simply would rather hang out with your numbers and pretend they mean something useful--and the only thing they're good for is profiting.

In fact, let's take your example of TNF-antibodies. These are produced naturally by our bodies--this is a discovery, NOT an invention. They're not manufactured except by our B-cells. The patent, 6,090,382, is absurdly over-broad, calling on all kinds of bits and pieces of antigen and antibody and anything these guys could dream up to cover in the patent. 

Then, they push this thing on the market as infliximab or humira. What do we get for the outrageous cost? A drug that a third of people develop antibodies to, in the case of humira. Not to mention particular harms, which the pharmaceutical companies have been assiduous in suppressing data on as it impacts profits negatively. For example, in the case you bring up to defend your position, see, e.g., http://www.sokolovelaw.com/newsroom/blog/2012/07/31/abbott-labs-sued-over-humira 

What if that was your sister? Or you?

Other efforts to thwart TNF have led to death (e.g., pentoxifylline). But there are a number of more natural ways to reduce not just TNF but other inflammatory cytokines, like IL1 and IL6. These are problematic in a number of conditions and infections when their expression is prolonged or sustained. Potential agents range from L-carnitine to combinations of agents like alpha lipoid, NAC, fish oil….we need studies that reflect MEDICINE done in a SCIENTIFIC way that help HUMANS FIRST, not profits.

What we lack is more robust data because the model of patent medicines and profit stymies such studies. 

That's why I get angry. I think that petty, small-minded "accountancy" of putative suffering by pharma because there is some perceived lack of "protection" for biologics--or any drugs--is fundamentally and at root a kind of psychosis.

I stand with the de-linking of profit approach. This will allow discovery to be unimpeded, discoverers to share in a reward (the incentive) and low-cost means of production and access will assure we, as patients, will have a shot at something that actually works, rather than something that just makes some executives craploads of cash while denying patients access to medicines or exposing those that can access them to often unnecessary and/or absurd risks.

George M. Carter

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