The pharmaceutical industry is one of the evergreen industries in today’s high paced world. Whether an economy is on its most stable behavior or in recession mode, a person can fall sick any day or might require his supplement pills. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that the pharmaceutical industry is a prime source of medical innovation. In a pharmaceutical or biotech company, Intellectual Property (IP) is indeed the most valuable resource, which contributes significantly to the company’s future success. IP is the bedrock on which the advancement of new medications and cures takes place. Without Intellectual Property Protection, researchers might not be able to explore new areas of medical innovation and uncover the discoveries that will prompt the treatments, and cures of tomorrow.
IPR IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
The medical innovations and treatments leading to the discovery of new life-saving drugs must be protected through Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). As the relationship between a consumer and a pharmaceutical product is based entirely on trust, Trademarks help to distinguish and protect the brand on a company and product level. Patents offer pharmaceutical companies with exclusive rights to market their drugs and prevent others from selling, copying, or manufacturing these drugs for 20 years from the date of application. For pharmaceutical companies, IPR is a prerequisite for identifying, planning, commercializing, and protecting the inventions. They also encourage healthy competition, which promotes industrial development and economic growth. Additionally, IPRs provide sufficient incentives to these companies for investing in research and development.
IMPORTANCE OF IP IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Intellectual Property is essential for the continued innovation of new medicines, and holds utmost importance in the pharmaceutical industry, explained in the points mentioned below.
- PROTECTION OF MEDICAL INVENTION
Once a person or a company has designed or developed a new drug or medical treatment, they must protect it either by filing a Patent Application or by keeping it as Trade Secret. However, in the case of trade secrets, a drug can be reverse-engineered, leading to the invention getting stolen, whereas a patent offers much more watertight protection.
- DRIVES ECONOMIC GROWTH AND COMPETITIVENESS
Intellectual Property leads to the significant economic growth of a pharmaceutical company by awarding the sole intellectual property rights to the inventor of a medication or treatment. All the marketing rights of the invention lie solely with the inventor with further options of even selling or licensing it.
- PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS AND FAMILIES
In the pharmaceutical industry, Intellectual Property’s main interest lies in public safety as it helps the consumers in making the right choice while selecting a medical product. Intellectual property rights help in ensuring a standard by assuring quality, which further establishes a reliable and effective public health infrastructure.
- GENERATES SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES
Promotion of innovation is essential; however, at the same time, one needs funding to do so. In the pharmaceutical industry, intellectual property rights offer encouragement to develop drugs and vaccines for the new diseases discovered daily. They provide incentives for turning innovative ideas into possible new medications.
- PROTECTION AGAINST POTENTIAL INFRINGERS
Intellectual property rights allow pharmaceutical companies to take strict actions against counterfeit drugs. Without such rights, countries across the globe would have a difficult time in ensuring the safety of their medical inventions.
The pharmaceutical industry should make sincere efforts to manage their IP Rights rather than just acquiring them from the national or regional IP Offices. It is a matter of fact that yes; Patent and Trademark Rights are not of much worth unless they are adequately exploited. Enterprises in the pharmaceutical industry should extract full value from their IP assets and medical inventions by taking adequate steps to develop an IP strategy for dealing with possible infringers. Therefore, enforcement of IP Rights is crucial to ensure that their intellectual property is respected in the marketplace.