Friday, September 15, 2006

Patent Buy-Outs for Global Disease Innovation

The Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech) is hosting a seminar by
Kevin Outterson on "Patent Buy-Outs for Global Disease Innovation."

Many of you received the initial invitation when this event was
scheduled for May 10th and then cancelled. It has now been rescheduled:

Date: Tuesday October 10, 2006
Time: 12:30-2pm
Venue: 1621 Connecticut Avenue Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009

Kevin Outterson is an Associate Professor of Law at West Virginia University. He is also a member of the American Health Lawyer's Association's FDA Task Force. In 2004, Governor Wise appointed him to a 4 year term with the West Virginia Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council. Some of his professional papers include, "Patent Buy-Outs for Global Disease Innovations for low and middle-income countries" and "Fair followers: Expanding access to generic pharmaceuticals for low-income populations."

Professor Outterson's presentation will discuss the concept of patent buy-outs to facilitate generic competition.

Some 80% to 90% of the global sales of patented pharmaceuticals occur in the 30 wealthy countries which are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), roughly similar to the World Bank's definition of 29 high-income countries. Pharmaceutical markets for patented products largely follow the money. The mismatch between global pharmaceutical markets and global disease burdens leads to an interesting opportunity. Patented pharmaceuticals could be offered to more than 84% of the world's population at generic prices. (Only high-income country patients would bear pharmaceutical patent rents).

The gain in health from increasingly affordable pharmaceuticals would be considerable. The primary disadvantage of this plan would be a quite small reduction in global R&D cost recovery; but even this small deficit could be restored to the companies through a carefully designed patent buy-out mechanism.


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