Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Sunovion Layoffs? | Main | Another Critical Shortage »

June 11, 2012

China's Compulsory Licensing

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

The Chinese government recently amended its intellectual property law to allow for compulsory licensing. Similar measures are on the books in many other companies, and it's allowed under international patent law (WIPO) in cases of emergency or threats to public health. India recently did this to Bayer's Nexavar. Thailand has used this provision more than once, and other countries (such as Brazil) have threatened it during negotiations with drug companies.

Pharmalot has more on the story, particularly with respect to Gilead and their dealings with the Chinese government over their HIV therapy Viread. As that piece says, China is particularly well suited (as is India) to follow through on such moves, since both countries have robust pharma manufacturing and generic drug business sectors.

I'm actually surprised that the Chinese government didn't have these provisions in place before, though. It's a useful negotiating tool, and I would expect them to avail themselves of everything available, since they are in such a good position to play hardball. Of course, they also have a huge amount of investment from multinational companies on the other side of such considerations - but they also have that huge market that the companies want access to. My guess is that last factor will, in the end, trump everything. There are many drugs, and many drug companies, but there's only one Chinese market. And the only way to that market is through China's one government, which means that companies (and not just drug companies) will continue to smile through gritted teeth and put up with pretty much anything.

Comments (11) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets | Patents and IP


COMMENTS

1. pete on June 11, 2012 8:09 AM writes...

First thought: Yet another reason that drug prices keep increasing for you & me (-- here in N America / Euro)

Permalink to Comment

2. PPedroso on June 11, 2012 8:15 AM writes...

My question is:

In a few years when the first innovative drugs start coming out of China and India, how will this problem will be handled on the other way around?

Will, for instance, European Countries be able to do compulsory licensing for China new Drugs?

Permalink to Comment

3. SP on June 11, 2012 8:32 AM writes...

I always laugh when people who complain about Obama being a socialist run into the real thing.

Permalink to Comment

4. darwinsdog on June 11, 2012 10:54 AM writes...

If the shoe is ever on the other foot - I say hey we can't be expected to pay the debt AND pay for their drugs

Permalink to Comment

5. Anon on June 11, 2012 11:17 AM writes...

@2 My bet is not. If so they will threaten to tax pharma activity in their county. Which by that time, Companies outsourcing will be dependent on them.

Permalink to Comment

6. CMCguy on June 11, 2012 12:21 PM writes...

My contention is this is only putting a legal stamp on the long known practices of Chindia companies that already produce illegitimate Patented drugs fro "black market". It probably more about presenting an image of International compliance and opens door so they can sell such products cheaply to nations that do not have capabilities to make the drugs but also wish to obtain by Compulsory Licensing.

Permalink to Comment

7. Anonymous on June 11, 2012 3:27 PM writes...

China-India bashing topic? c'mon guys, where is everybody today?

Permalink to Comment

8. jackgg on June 12, 2012 12:07 AM writes...

Re@7:bbq on the beach, bla bla in the bars whiling taking 2 months off at this season.

Permalink to Comment

9. simpl on June 12, 2012 3:59 AM writes...

Not just China: From 1969, the Commissioner of Patents in Canada could issue compulsory licences to import/manufacture and set royalties for drugs.

Permalink to Comment

10. Andy S on June 12, 2012 8:26 AM writes...

This article's (http://www.iam-magazine.com/blog/Detail.aspx?g=81a2f17d-97e1-484e-ac59-b68cf64a1e54) opinion is that the amendments are procedural clarifications rather than substantive changes to the law. Time will tell if the new procedures will facilitate/encourage compulsory licensing in China (or whether Reuters are sensationalising the issue).

Permalink to Comment

11. Anonymous on June 17, 2012 10:26 AM writes...

The Chinese IP amendments add to the dangers of relying on the country's fast-growing drug sales to make up for sluggish growth elsewhere. Big Pharma has been investing hundreds of millions at a time in new Chinese facilities, plus hiring thousands of new sales reps to take their products to the Chinese masses.

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets
Allergan Escapes Valeant
Vytorin Actually Works
Fatalities at DuPont
The New York TImes on Drug Discovery
How Are Things at Princeton?
Phage-Derived Catalysts
Our Most Snorted-At Papers This Month. . .