Because of a reliable patent system that rewards risk, adequate protection of innovators, and a predictable flow of resources, the United States is responsible for the vast majority of medical innovation. Through trade agreements with other countries, medicines developed in the U.S. are able to reach patients around the world who otherwise would not be able to access the latest treatments and cures. However, some countries artificially limit the price of innovative U.S. pharmaceuticals and fail to adequately protect intellectual property, hampering access to new treatments in foreign countries and reducing investment in research and development, ultimately harming patients and health systems, alike.
Entering into strong and mutually beneficial trade agreements is vital to facilitating global access to innovative medicines. It’s also critical that existing agreements are fully enforced by all involved parties to ensure we continue to protect access and innovation.
It’s imperative that new and existing agreements adequately protect confidential information and prevent patent infringement, and ensure that trade partners fulfill their obligations with the same diligence as U.S. regulators. Not fully enforcing agreements and ignoring international trade rules impairs market access, discourages innovation and hinders patient access.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property systems differ from country to country. Nations like the United States, Japan, and some European countries enjoy strong, modern approaches to intellectual property that encourage investment and innovation. However, many countries, including Canada, China, and India, embrace IP systems that discourage medical innovation by not providing adequate protections, ultimately diminishing patient access to new treatments and cures.