“There’s also evidence that a complex web of regulation, like the one in the U.S. that is increasingly being promoted in trade agreements like the TPP, creates opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry to win longer monopolies. Robin Feldman, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has researched patent law extensively and recently published a study showing how regulations intended to promote generic medicines in the U.S. have been manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry, so that brand-name drugs get a longer monopoly than intended, at a cost of many billions of dollars for the government and consumers.”
“‘The revolution in generic drugs has been a miracle,’ Feldman told me. ‘The real miracle is that the benefit of generic drugs has held up at all given pharma’s all-out assault on those regulations.’ She worries that the provisions affecting pharmaceuticals in the TPP will open the door to what she calls “game playing,” where industry uses the legal and regulatory system to delay the sale of generics. The U.S. is ‘attempting to export both our complexities and the generosity of our provisions to pharma,’ Feldman said. Given the problems with the U.S. patent system, ‘one might be wary about exporting it.’”
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