Alternative Incentives for Pharmaceutical Innovation
Intellectual Property Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1m p. 13, December 2014
51 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2014
The current patent system is muddied with manifest muck. Even those that revere its relevance for R&D intensive sectors such as pharmaceutical drugs, admit of its various failings, particularly when it comes to incentivising research into neglected diseases. A number of alternative innovation incentives have therefore been proposed. This paper highlights some of these alternatives (such as prizes and open source drug discovery) and evaluates their optimality from a policy perspective. It divides the alternative proposals into those that directly substitute for the current patent and data exclusivity regime (such as an investment protection regime) and those that cater to neglected or developing country diseases (such as advanced market commitments). Finding that almost all the alternatives suffer a shortcoming or two, it recommends the combination of multiple incentives to yield better policy outcomes.
Keywords: pharmaceutical patents, incentives, innovation, neglected diseases, investment, TRIPS, WTO
JEL Classification: O34, K10, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation