Israel Making Generic Patents As Big An Int'l Trade Issue As Corruption And Bribery?

from the equivalencies? dept

Having just seen how the US was putting pressure on Costa Rica to modify its copyright laws for the purposes of a "free trade" agreement, Dylan F sends in the news of how the international community seems to be putting pressure on Israel to change a few things in order to join the OECD. There are three issues discussed, and you can see how the first two are at least worth discussing: corruption/bribery in weapons trade and its ongoing dispute with Arab territories within the country. But it's difficult to see how the third issue, generic patents, could possibly be seen on the same level as the first two. But, there it is:
The second concern, regarding intellectual property rights, involves the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the world’s largest producers of generic drugs. Major American and Swiss companies have long accused Israel of insufficient regulation of the way Teva markets its products in the face of patent regulations in other countries.
So, because some big pharma companies can't compete well with Israeli generics, Israel should be barred from joining the OECD?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 25th, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Brazil and India also are being pressured.

    But Israel depends on the U.S. so they will have to agree too something or they will get bitch slapped for it.

     

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  2.  
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    Richard Corsale (profile), Jan 25th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Brazil and India also are being pressured.

    That's not entirely true. Israel has a strong sense of independence. It has as much right to defend it's economy as it's borders. Also, don't forget.. Israel is in a unique position amongst nations. It can for the most part, get away with things that other nations could not. The reason for this might have something to do with an undisclosed but massive nuclear Stockpile. (or where those weapons came from ;) )

    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/DIA1999.jpg

     

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  3.  
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    transmaster (profile), Jan 25th, 2010 @ 10:57pm

    "or where those weapons came from"

    Not from the USA, but there has been rumors for decades of a South African connection.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2010 @ 11:04pm

    How could a pharma company that spends its money on research and development be expected to compete with a company that lacks these expenses?

    I am a fan of generics, but without some period of monopoly protection there will be no profit in the development of new drugs.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Yosi, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 1:52am

    Not a problem

    Since Teva employ so many people (read: voters), no government can afford to break Teva's revenues too match. So basically answer boils down to "go fsck yourself, we have enough problems with war/terror/neighbors/etc to start here this BS about IP regulations".

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    MCR, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 2:56am

    Re:

    I have to agree with this one. Some drugs take years and cost millions to develop and implement. FDA trials generally take quite a long time as well. The production costs are minimal.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Getefix, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:40am

    Re: Re:

    You can't use the profit motive to try to create sustainable societal benefit (cheap drugs for the world's ill) because in the end you get more profit by making goods "scarce".

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re:

    "I have to agree with this one."

    Why - someone have a gun to your head ?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Pill Popping Hypochondriac, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:18am

    Why do they need to join the OECD ?
    It sounds like something you should ask your doctor about.
    Gee Doc, I think I might have OECD. You think I might need that new non-generic pill from Big-Pharma?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Del Boy, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    Cheaper drugs could be good if used correctly

    Firstly I do respect that developing new drugs is a very expensive & a lengthy process. It could be percieved that Israel are ripping off the drug developing companies who just want to collect back some of the costs that go into development.
    Why not allow for a scheme that would allow generics to be produced cheaply by say Israel, India etc that would allow the poorer countries to be able to afford drugs that they would not normally be able to.
    Ban generics from richer countries to allow development to pay off.
    Just maybe this would be the humane thing to do. But greed by those who have will always outrank the benefits to those who have not.
    OH! what a divided world we have, can we not at least try to help everyone?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:43am

    Small Correction

    Mike:

    "Generic patent"? I know what you mean, but there are no "generic patents."

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Macy Phar, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re:

    How could a pharma company that spends its money on research and development be expected to compete with a company that lacks these expenses?

    That's just crazy talk. Like most other things in the known universe, the first person to market has a major advantage.

    If generic drugs are overselling, it's because people do not see the VALUE in the name brand.

    Otherwise, BMWs, Jaguars, Bentley and other high end car manufacturers would be out of business. It's not a one for one comparison, but hopefully you see the point.

    The reason BMW is still around is perceived value. The BMW is perceived as a valuable, status symbol car. Is it superior to a lower priced hyundai or toyota? Not neccessarily... but it's PERCEIVED value. Same thing with name brand jeans vs generic jeans. Both cover your butt.... anything beyond that is perceived value.

    Pharmy's just don't want to waste their money on marketing to the masses, so they use patents instead and market to doctors with kickbacks, samples and really hot sales reps.

    I know... I work for a hospital.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anderson, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: Not a problem

    That's just plain stupid. Teva is a company that operates on the International market, and any sanction hitting Israel due to Teva's actions has significantly bigger impact than mere 5k voters.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    dorp, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re:

    I have to agree with this one. Some drugs take years and cost millions to develop and implement. FDA trials generally take quite a long time as well. The production costs are minimal.

    BS. Which aspirin manufacturer sells more aspirin than any other company?

     

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  15.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Re:

    "Not from the USA, but there has been rumors for decades of a South African connection."

    I sincerely hope you're joking. The nukes Israel has are of American origin, regardless the muddied routes they/we used to get them there....

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Phil, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Teva is no saint!!

    ...because some big pharma companies can't compete well with Israeli generics, Israel should be barred from joining the OECD?
    Umm... Its not about Teva competing with US and European "Big Pharma". Its about Teva destroying the competition in the generic market -- the "small pharma", if you will. Teva has done more to consolidate the generic market, buy out competitors, and drive up generic prices than any other company in existence. Now both branded and generic drugs cost too much. A generic by Teva (after some additional profiteering from a big pharmacy chain, such as Walgreens) often costs almost as much as the original name brand.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    The quoted paragraph is at best ambiguous. It sheds no light on the issue it mentions. Thus, comments that this is somehow an "inability to compete" issue seems premature in the absence of more detailed information.

    BTW, bribery in foreign sales is an important issue. Companies in the US are bound by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which criminalizes US companies engaged in the "bribery" of foreign officials in an attempt to secure a leg up on international competitiors.

     

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  18.  
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    jjmsan (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    Development Costs

    Just out of curiosity, where did we get the millions of dollars in costs to develop drugs? Is this info from the drug companies? the government? Neither is known for being totally accurate in accounting.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    staff, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    competition v theft

    "So, because some big pharma companies can't compete well with Israeli generics, Israel should be barred from joining the OECD? "

    It depends. Is Teva selling drug knock offs in countries where the inventor firm still has patent rights? If so, it's not competition. It's theft.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Richard Corsale (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Development Costs

    or conveniently inaccurate

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    It Is A Problem / Re: Not a problem

    Yosi,

    You are missing an important issue, Israeli inventors and a significant emerging tech industry based on their inventions. Patents are very important to Israel and they cannot expect others to respect their IP rights if the allow Teva to steal with impunity.

    There is nothing wrong with generic companies growing through sales of low margin high volume off patent drugs. I would hope that Teva is using income from gererics to develop their own drugs. That is the only business plan which makes sense.

    One last point, www.PIAUSA.org works with many Israeli inventors and it is a fact that Jewish inventors in America are common. For whatever reasons the Jewish culture produces inventors disproportionately greater then one would expect for their numbers.

    We even have a discussion group for Jewish inventors on PIAUSA.org, BWP-L.
    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No one makes the drugs scarce. Now if they are not developed they will be scarce and if companies cannot profit they sure as hell will not invest in drug development.

    Drugs are priced to cover all costs of development, distribution and a profit. So the issue is cost and they cost what they do because of the staggering capital investment to create them.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Cheaper drugs could be good if used correctly

    Just how long do you think richer companies can be milked before the goose that lays the golden eggs croak?

    Ronald J. Riley,


    I am speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I have to agree with this one. Some drugs take years and cost millions to develop and implement. FDA trials generally take quite a long time as well. The production costs are minimal.

    then revamp the clinical trials process in the US.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Otherwise, BMWs, Jaguars, Bentley and other high end car manufacturers would be out of business.


    LOL

    BMW, Jaguar, and Bentley WOULD be out of business if other manufacturers were allowed to make 99.9% identical replicas and sell them for 1/10 of the price.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: It Is A Problem / Re: Not a problem

    I knew it was too good to last. RJR's IP Protectionism returns and I can no longer agree with him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 26th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re:

    I have to agree with this one. Some drugs take years and cost millions to develop and implement. FDA trials generally take quite a long time as well. The production costs are minimal.

    Sounds like the issue is fixing the way clinical trials are done. That's got nothing to do with patents.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wouldn't the quality suffer as well? Who wants to drive a Bentley-Lite with crooked wheels?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Yosi, Jan 26th, 2010 @ 11:27pm

    Re: It Is A Problem / Re: Not a problem

    >> Israeli inventors and a significant emerging tech industry based on their inventions
    Yea, I know. We have smart people here, thank you.

    >> Patents are very important to Israel

    Nobody in Israel gives a shit about your crazy IP ideas. Sorry to disappoint you.

    >> I would hope that Teva is using income from generics to develop their own drugs
    They do. You happy now?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    nipsey russell, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Development Costs

    are you questioning that it costs "millions of dollars to develop drugs"?? seriously? i work at a pharma company and I only see one small part of the drug development process. I hire companies to provide services related to the clinical trials required by law. Just this part of drug development (this is after many compounds have already been developed and failed in the discovery and early clinical research stages) always costs tens of millions of dollars, and more realistically well over $100MM....just this part.

     

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  31.  
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    Christopher Heayn (profile), Feb 4th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Teva

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn't Teva Pharm a Multinational/Global company with its main headquarters in Israel. Especially with all the acquisitions over the years (Bayer, Novophorm, etc), wouldn't those acquisitions negate the supposed accusations from other companies in North America and Europe. Through there acquisitions and there own R&D wouldn't squash any complaints about marketing as well. Teva is global and it seems defeatist to bundle them in with other issues when I would think that Teva would be seen as Global (USA, South America, France, etc.) I can only assume that it is grouped in there because they are one of the larger producers of generic drugs which doesn't help the USA Pharma corps with there name brand drugs and there associated costs. Just seems like a lot of BS for nothing when they should concentrate on counterfeit drugs, products, etc. Personally I having nothing for or against Teva but just from my viewpoint they shouldn't be grouped with the other issues unless they are being accused of producing fake drugs (which I don't believe is the case at all).

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    no israel, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:08am

    no israel

    There is no state called Israel.
    State of thieves called Israel a
    basis of the displacement
    and killing of Innocent nation .
    state of thieves basis
    bloodshed and war
    And the arrest of people
    for tens of years to
    prevent him from claiming
    The right to life .
    basis steal the land of the
    Palestinian people
    And then steal
    the land of the Arab-Muslim
    the entire .State of the
    thieves do not know the law .....
    Does not recognize the
    law of the United Nations,
    a state that considers itself above the
    law . the law is the siege of Gaza
    And the bloodshed and
    destruction of houses and
    killing innocent people
    and occupying the country
    This is a country named Israel thieves

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    arab, Nov 14th, 2010 @ 1:04pm

    no state named israel

    There is no democracy in Israel as a state is illegitimate and illegal and not recognized
    Evidence of this if anyone wanted to write a comment in the Israeli websites
    Does not allow him or be there are many obstacles to prevent him from writing a comment The reasons for Arab-Israeli conflict is the occupation of Palestine in 1948.
    Palestine Arab Islamic state like the rest of the Arab and Islamic states surrounding
    Them. Means that there are Jews and Zionists in Palestine a big mistake, because this entity
    Zionist is not consistent with the surrounding area (such as language, customs, traditions and religion)
    The only solution to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is the expulsion of Jews from Palestine
    All of Palestine. The Jewish people will not rest and will not feel comfortable and stability
    But if it gets out of Palestine and the Middle East completely. If people continue to
    Jews in Palestine and the Middle East, the death and destruction will continue.
    Palestine Arab Islamic state and will remain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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