After India, Now Indonesia Introduces Patent Licenses For Generic Versions Of Drugs

from the who's-going-to-be-next? dept

As we noted a couple of weeks ago, when we wrote about India's moves to issue compulsory licences for the production of generic versions of expensive, patented drugs, the big fear for Western pharmaceutical companies was that other countries might follow suit. It looks like that's happening in Indonesia, where the country's president has signed a decree authorizing low-cost versions of key HIV drugs:

the measure would introduce widespread generic competition and generate major cost savings in the world’s fourth most populous country. The decree licenses patents for a slate of HIV medicines, and represents one of the most robust uses of pharmaceutical patent licensing power by a country since the World Trade Organization 1995 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (WTO's TRIPS).
Again, the concern for the major drug manufacturers must be that this latest move will encourage even more countries to start granting patent licenses for drugs needed by their populations, but which are currently unaffordable thanks to Western-level pricing. Indeed, it's hard to see what can stop that happening now that India and Indonesia have shown the way by invoking the right of countries to issue compulsory patent licenses, as enshrined in TRIPS.

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Filed Under: drugs, india, indonesia, patents, pharmaceuticals

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2012 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The marginal cost is not $70k/treatment, but when you include the fixed cost for R&D it is. Someone has to develop these treatments.

    I understand why the governments of these countries would do this. It makes sense to me and I'm glad lifesaving treatments are available to the 3rd world poor. But they only work in a world where the US has its current set of laws and market conditions that allow pharma companies to recoup their development. Our high healthcare costs subsidize the research and development of these kinds of treatments that the whole world gets to use. Other countries - even western european ones - pay much less for drugs because their laws limit pricing and patent-based monopoly on new drugs.

    I look at it not as a negative but rather as one of the ways that the richest country in the world gives back a little bit. But if we adopt a healthcare system that mirrors Western Europe odds are pretty good that either other countries are going to start feeling the pain of prescriptions or a lot less money is going to be spent on researching new treatments.

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