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

Sumner La Croix, Working Papers

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) welcomes online comments to stories that are posted on our website or social media pages. Comments are intended to be a forum for open, respectful, and family-friendly discussion. UHERO reserves the right to remove anything posted on our website or social media pages that is deemed inappropriate. All comments are moderated and will therefore have a delayed post time.
Some guidelines (not an exhaustive list) we use when moderating/approving comments include:

  • Do not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
  • Do not post content that is hateful, threatening or wildly off-topic; or do anything unlawful, malicious, discriminatory or defamatory.
  • Observe confidentiality laws at all times.
  • Do not post spam or advertisements.
  • Observe fair use, copyright and disclosure laws.
  • Do not use vulgar language or profanity.

UHERO may amend this policy from time to time.