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An Empirical Analysis of Primary and Secondary Pharmaceutical Patents in Chile

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  • María José Abud Sittler
  • Bronwyn Hall
  • Christian Helmers

Abstract

We analyze the patent filing strategies of foreign pharmaceutical companies in Chile distinguishing between “primary” (active ingredient) and “secondary” patents (patents on modified compounds, formulations, dosages, particular medical uses etc.). There is prior evidence that secondary patents are used by pharmaceutical originator companies in the U.S. and Europe to extend patent protection on drugs in length and breadth. Using a novel dataset that comprises all drugs registered in Chile between 1991 and 2010 as well as the corresponding patents and trademarks, we find evidence that foreign originator companies pursue similar strategies in Chile. We find a primary to secondary patents ratio of 1:4 at the drug-level which is comparable to the available evidence for Europe; most secondary patents are filed over several years following the original primary patent and after the protected active ingredient has obtained market approval in Chile. This points toward effective patent term extensions through secondary patents. Secondary patents dominate “older” therapeutic classes like anti-ulcer and anti-depressants. In contrast, newer areas like anti-virals and anti-neoplastics (anti-cancer) have a much larger share of primary patents.

Suggested Citation

  • María José Abud Sittler & Bronwyn Hall & Christian Helmers, 2015. "An Empirical Analysis of Primary and Secondary Pharmaceutical Patents in Chile," NBER Working Papers 20995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20995 Note: DEV PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sternitzke, Christian, 2013. "An exploratory analysis of patent fencing in pharmaceuticals: The case of PDE5 inhibitors," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 542-551.
    2. Panle Gia & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Shubham Chaudhuri, 2006. "Estimating the Effects of Global Patent Protection in Pharmaceuticals: A Case Study of Quinolones in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1477-1514, December.
    3. Hemphill, C. Scott & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2012. "Evergreening, patent challenges, and effective market life in pharmaceuticals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 327-339.
    4. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 2010. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Intellectual Property Rights Protection in Developing Countries: The Case of Pharmaceuticals," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(2-3), pages 326-353, 04-05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sampat, Bhaven N. & Shadlen, Kenneth C., 2017. "Secondary pharmaceutical patenting: A global perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 693-707.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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