"Pharmaceutical companies should take into account the interests of the society and ensure access of public in large to innovations"

12-12-2016 | 14:35

Participants of the section on “Intellectual property. Pharmaceuticals. Competition” discussed possible conditions of observing the balance between the interests of business and the society on the pharmaceutical market in Russia

On 7 December 2016, at the II International Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” law experts, representatives of pharmaceutical companies and FAS discussed conflux between the antimonopoly law and the intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical industry.

The issue is important because of the need to support fair competition under the conditions of intensive innovative activities on the pharmaceutical markets and observe the rights of the population for health and vital medicines procured by the state.

Ioannis Lianos, a professor of the Law School, University College London, a senior researcher at the Law and Development Institution, High School of Economics – Skolkovo, discussed antimonopoly tools used in the West against various competition-restricting abuses of IP rights. He quoted fresh data showing that investment of pharmaceutical companies in lobbyism bring higher financial income that research cost.

Alexei Ivanov, Director of the Law and Development Institution, High School of Economics - Skolkovo, drew attention to the available empirical studies that show lack of direct connection between patent protection and innovative developments in the pharmaceutical industry. “A more pressing issue is dynamic competitive environment, based on a broad access to knowledge and technologies that can be achieved through efficient use of antimonopoly tools, including forced licensing”, emphasized Alexei Ivanov. The statement immediately found its followers and opponents among representatives of pharmaceutical business participating in the discussion.

Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade, Timophey Nizhegorodtsev, who was a section moderator, concluded: “Participants presented independent opinions on the issues of IP and market evaluation. FAS reached similar conclusions in its analysis so we believe that pharmaceutical companies should first of alltake into account the interests of the society and ensure access of public in large to innovations”.

The II International Research-to-Practice Conference on “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” took place on 6-7 December 2016 in Moscow at “Skolkovo” Innovation Centre. On the first day the Conference determined the directions of developing the antimonopoly policy under the new economy; the event on the second day included sectoral discussions on: procurement, informational technologies, agro-industrial sector, and pharmaceuticals.