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A Cross-Country Index of Intellectual Property Rights in Pharmaceutical Innovations

Posted April 6, 2014 | Categories: UHERO Working Papers, LaCroix, Sumner

Many countries with strong patent protection for other industrial products and processes have not always provided strong protection for pharmaceutical innovations. For example, in 1970, all 22 OECD countries had functioning industrial patent systems, but only four allowed new pharmaceutical products to be patented. Over the last five decades, the extent of IPR protection for pharmaceutical innovations has increased dramatically, as more than 90 percent of the world’s countries now offer pharmaceutical product patents to both resident and foreign inventors. At the same time, the types of intellectual property available to protect new drugs and improvements to existing drugs have also expanded rapidly, with countries protecting innovations via product patents, process patents, formulation patents, new medical indication patents, and marketing exclusivity measures. The proliferation of new types of IPRs has made it more difficult to compare IPR protection of pharmaceuticals across countries and has increased the need for an index summarizing each country’s property rights in pharmaceutical innovations.

WORKING PAPER
 


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