Innovation Law and Policy: Preserving the Future of Personalized Medicine

52 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2015 Last revised: 21 Jan 2016

Rachel Sachs

Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

Date Written: April 20, 2015

Abstract

Personalized medicine is the future of health care, and as such incentives for innovation in personalized technologies have rightly received attention from judges, policymakers, and legal scholars. Yet their attention too often focuses on only one area of law, to the exclusion of other areas that may have an equal or greater effect on real-world conditions. And because patent law, FDA regulation, and health law work together to affect incentives for innovation, they must be considered jointly. This Article will examine these systems together in the area of diagnostic tests, an aspect of personalized medicine which has seen recent developments in all three systems. Over the last five years, the FDA, Congress, Federal Circuit, and Supreme Court have dealt three separate blows to incentives for innovation in diagnostic tests: they have made it more expensive to develop diagnostics, made it more difficult to obtain and enforce patents on them, and reduced the amount innovators can expect to recoup in the market. Each of these changes may have had a marginal effect on its own, but when considered together, the system has likely gone too far in disincentivizing desperately needed innovation in diagnostic technologies. Fortunately, just as each legal system has contributed to the problem, each system can also be used to solve it. This Article suggests specific legal interventions that can be used to restore an appropriate balance in incentives to innovate in diagnostic technologies.

Suggested Citation

Sachs, Rachel, Innovation Law and Policy: Preserving the Future of Personalized Medicine (April 20, 2015). 49 U.C. Davis L. Rev., 2016 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2596875

Rachel Sachs (Contact Author)

Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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