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The Impact of Higher Standards in Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical Industries under the TRIPS Agreement: A Comparative Study of China and India


  • Li, Xuan


A comparative study is undertaken that explores Chinese and Indian pharmaceutical industries under different patent regimes. It is found that relative to India, which had implemented process patent until 2005, China with a product patent regime since 1993 suffers from both lower drug accessibility and availability (the latter is a missing parameter in the literature). Also, China lags behind in both lower R&D investment and patents filed by Chinese nationals. Based on these findings and associated legal interpretation, we conclude that higher patent protection in China generates negative impacts on the pharmaceutical industries. Thus, governments should utilize TRIPS flexibilities and other regimes like price control to offset the anticompetitive effect in designing patent policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Xuan, 2008. "The Impact of Higher Standards in Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical Industries under the TRIPS Agreement: A Comparative Study of China and India," WIDER Working Paper Series 036, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diwan, Ishac & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Patents, appropriate technology, and North-South trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 27-47, February.
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    4. Aoki, Reiko & Kubo, Kensuke & Yamane, Hiroko, 2006. "Indian Patent Policy and Public Health:Implications from the Japanese Experience," Working Papers 199, Department of Economics, The University of Auckland.
    5. Paul Klemperer, 1990. "How Broad Should the Scope of Patent Protection Be?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 113-130, Spring.
    6. Richard Gilbert & Carl Shapiro, 1990. "Optimal Patent Length and Breadth," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 106-112, Spring.
    7. Fink, Carsten, 2000. "How stronger patent protection in India might affect the behavior of transnational pharaceutical industries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2352, The World Bank.
    8. Maria Pluvia ZUNIGA & Emmanuel COMBE, 2002. "Introducing Patent Protection In The Pharmaceutical Sector:," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 16, pages 191-221.
    9. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-1091, December.
    10. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
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    product patent; process patent; TRIPS; pharmaceutical industries; China; India;

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