'Conversations' Round Up

Intellectual Property and the Innovation Economy

07.22.13 | By John Castellani

Last week’s ‘Conversations’ question “What steps should the U.S. take to protect and strengthen IP rights domestically and overseas?” prompted interesting responses from the U.S. Chamber of CommerceNational Health CouncilEli Lilly and Company and PhRMA’s own Jay Taylor. This topic is rather timely as the United States continues Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations with many of its trading partners in the Asia-Pacific region. By all accounts, a strong trade agenda is more important today than any other time in recent history.

As I read the responses, a key theme clearly resonates among the contributors: It is critical that the United States continue to push for stronger IP protections in future trade agreements, along with greater enforcement of existing trade laws to preserve the continuity of our innovation lifecycle.

In addition, it was pointed out that there is a critical need to ensure the longevity of patent cycles for pharmaceuticals fall in line with the rigorous steps of bringing a drug to market. This will help improve patient care and advance new medicines while allowing companies to continue to innovate.

As indicated by Mark Elliot and others, IP-driven industries, particularly biopharmaceuticals, rely heavily on intellectual property rights to protect major investments and provide the necessary capital required for new research and development. Without these protections, this vibrant innovation economy, driven largely by the United States, suffers greatly.

With TPP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the United States now has an opportunity to dramatically change (for the better) the way that the world views IP protections and enforcement. Additionally, we can create a strong standard for similar agreements with other regions and countries in the future.

Over the coming months, PhRMA will continue to share these thoughts with all stakeholders on behalf of America’s innovative biopharmaceutical companies. The consequences of not pursuing a strong IP agenda are too great, especially when considered in the context of our collective need to grow the economy and help ensure that patients have access to life-saving medicines.

We encourage you to share your thoughts by joining the conversation and providing your own perspective in the comment section.



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