PhRMA recommends patent protection

July 1, 1997
Pharmaceutical Representative

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives released its annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual-property protection in countries trading with the United States.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives released its annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual-property protection in countries trading with the United States.

The 1997 Special 301 Annual Review cited several countries for failing to adequately protect pharmaceutical intellectual property. Five - Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, India and Turkey - were designated "Priority Watch" countries, and a special review was scheduled to assess Turkey's progress in improving patent protection.

"Without effective intellectual-property protection, there would be no innovative medicines," said Harvey E. Bale Jr., senior vice president of international affairs for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. PhRMA considers patents to be the lifeblood of its industry.

PhRMA asked that the government designate Argentina and India "Priority Foreign Countries" in order to expedite resolution of patent protection problems in those countries. Both are centers of regional and global patent piracy, according to PhRMA.

Other countries put on the "Watch" list for deficiencies related to pharmaceuticals include Australia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Peru and the United Arab Emirates. The review also noted problems in Cyprus, Qatar and Romania.

"This report should prompt countries cited for deficiencies to improve their protection of intellectual property," Bale said.

"This will not only help them meet international standards, it will also benefit the people of those countries by making more innovative medicines available and by attracting investment," according to Bale. PR