Investments in Pharmaceuticals Before and After TRIPS
AbstractWe examine the relationship between patent protection for pharmaceuticals and investment in development of new drugs. Patent protection has increased around the world as a consequence of the TRIPS Agreement, which specifies minimum levels of intellectual property protection for members of the World Trade Organization. It is generally argued that patents are critical for pharmaceutical research efforts, and so greater patent protection in developing and least-developed countries might result in greater effort by pharmaceutical firms to develop drugs that are especially needed in those countries. Since patents also have the potential to reduce access to treatments through higher prices, it is imperative to assess whether the benefits of increased incentives have materialized in research on diseases that particularly affect the poor. We find that patent protection is associated with increases in research and development (R&D) effort when adopted in high income countries. However, the introduction of patents in developing countries has not been followed by greater investment. Particularly for diseases that primarily affect the poorest countries, our results suggest that alternative mechanisms for inducing R&D may be more appropriate than patents.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15468.
Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Other versions of this item:
- Margaret K. Kyle & Anita M. McGahan, 2012. "Investments in Pharmaceuticals Before and After TRIPS," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1157-1172, November.
- Kyle, Margaret K & McGahan, Anita M, 2011. "Investments in Pharmaceuticals Before and After TRIPS," CEPR Discussion Papers 8371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
- L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology
- O34 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property Rights
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2009-10-31 (Health Economics)
- NEP-INO-2009-10-31 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2009-10-31 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-REG-2009-10-31 (Regulation)
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