Modalities, Challenges, and Possibilities: An Introduction to the Pharmaceutical Innovation Symposium
43 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2020 Last revised: 24 Jun 2023
Date Written: October 6, 2020
On October 25, 2019, the Texas A&M Journal of Property Law and the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University School of Law jointly organized the "Pharmaceutical Innovation, Patent Protection, and Regulatory Exclusivities" Symposium. Although none of the organizers and participants could predict what was to come in the next few months, there was a wide consensus that the rapid changes in the pharmaceutical landscape and our continuous struggle to strike a proper balance between proprietary protection and public access in the public health arena deserves scholarly, policy and regulatory attention.
To inform readers about the inspirations and motivations behind the Symposium, this introductory article begins by exploring the different modalities of protection--in particular the role of patents and regulatory exclusivities in providing the needed incentives to pharmaceutical developers. It then identifies three sets of challenges that affect the future of pharmaceutical innovation at both the domestic and international levels. The article concludes by utilizing a very recent event—the COVID-19 pandemic—to illustrate the wide array of policy options and possibilities both within and outside the intellectual property system. It makes salient the nexus between the domestic and international debates on pharmaceutical innovation.
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