Monday, September 15, 2008

Patent system seen stifling medical breakthroughs

From the Globe and Mail:
An outdated intellectual property system is preventing lifesaving medicines and cutting-edge technologies from reaching those who need them the most, a leading expert on patents asserted yesterday.

"If things don't change, we're going to all have fewer medicines to treat whatever the next diseases are," warned E. Richard Gold, director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy at McGill University. "Not only will we not develop those drugs for cancer and heart ... but we won't get the innovative breakthrough drugs unless we change."

From communities in Brazil to corporate boardrooms, Dr. Gold and his team found an endemic mistrust among those involved in the patent system that is stifling innovation and preventing technology from entering the market and helping those in both developed and developing nations.

He and his colleagues presented their report, which was seven years in the making, to civil servants and industry observers in Ottawa yesterday.

The report found that the heavy-handed control on patents resulted in much controversy - and that change is needed. ...more

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