Drug patents don’t necessarily spur companies to innovate so much as restrict access to their IP.
Andrii Zastrozhnov/iStock via Getty Images Plus
The Medicines Patent Pool was created to promote public health, facilitating generic licensing for patented drugs that treat diseases predominantly affecting low- and middle-income countries.
High insulin prices are leaving some people who need the drug without access.
Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images
About 1 in 4 Americans with diabetes who need insulin struggle to pay for this lifesaving drug.
From thalidomide to Viagra, drug repurposing salvaged failed treatments by giving them new targets.
smartboy10/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images
Drug repurposing can redeem failed treatments and squeeze out new uses from others. But many pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to retool existing drugs without a high return on investment.
Changes in the latest federal budget will mostly affect people who need multiple medicines throughout the year, perhaps for chronic disease. But there are other ways to reduce drug costs.
Generic drug names are assigned at the global level by the World Health Organization in conjunction with national naming authorities.
Generic drug names are often long, but they can tell doctors what type of medicine it is and how it works. But it’s brand names that appear first and most prominently in Health Canada materials.
Waiver talks might convince companies to focus on technology transfer and training, and let go of the plan to maximise patent-based revenues.
Workers at India’s biggest syringe manufacturer ramp up production in September 2020 in race to meet COVID-19 vaccine-driven demand.
Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images
There are three broad sets of health-related opportunities and benefits that may shape the future of India-Africa relations.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images
There are ingredients in your pills other than the one designed to treat your ailments. Those unnamed ingredients can alter how you respond to a medicine or even make you sick.
The pipeline of pharmaceuticals is easily disrupted.
Gumpanat/iStock via Getty Images Plus
Drug shortages occur regularly in the US, even in the best of times. The pharmaceutical supply chain embodies ‘just in time’ shipping and has little built-in redundancy.
Generic drugs can be a great way to save money, but a recent study shows there are risks involved.
As drug prices soar, consumers look for cheaper generics. A recent study showed safety issues in some generics made abroad, however, suggesting that the FDA’s honor system may not be enough to ensure safety.
Some biologics can cost up to a million dollars for a year’s worth.
Biologics, therapies made inside or of living cells, are a growing share of pharmaceutical sales. But the cost of these miracle treatments makes them unaffordable for many. New FDA guidance may help.
Physicians often have reasons for prescribing a specific drug.
Insurance companies sometimes try to cut costs by substituting less expensive drugs for a specific drug prescription. That’s raising problems in many cases, and actually causing harm.
No longer tangled and pointing in the right direction.
Fixes for small pieces of massive problems show that overarching crises may be less hopeless than they appear.
Miniature biomanufacturing kits like this prototype could revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry.
Small-batch brewers are starting to tinker with biologic drugs to meet their own medical needs. A side effect of their success would be a disruption to how big pharma makes and distributes drugs.
If doctors prescribe generic drugs rather than their brand name equivalents, most times patients benefit.
A push towards prescribing generic medications rather than their branded equivalents, as flagged in the budget, may have benefits beyond simple cost savings.
The rising costs of EpiPens has led to outrage.
The rising cost of drugs is more worrisome to most Americans than problems with Obamacare. Could proposals in California and Ohio help?
Patent? What patent? (Pharmacy in Asmara, Eritrea)
There is a window of opportunity for the least developed countries to develop their own pharmaceuticals industry.
Bashing drugmakers can be an easy way to score political points.
Clinton, who named drug companies among her enemies in this week’s debate, is pushing populist-inspired policies that could hamper the flow of new medicines.
Generic medicine is essential to regions like the Southern African Development Community where HIV is endemic and cheap drugs are needed.
The generic drug industry has become essential to developing countries that need access to cheaper drugs to treat their heavy burdens of communicable diseases.