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Irish trade lobby warns EU amendments could threaten pharma industry in Ireland, critics contest

Published on 06/08/18 at 10:29am
Image Credit: Giuseppe Milo - https://www.flickr.com/photos/giuseppemilo/16193381408

The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has warned that changes to existing intellectual property legislation could threaten innovation and deter investment in Ireland.

The industry trade lobby have stated that the proposed laws would act as a hindrance to pharmaceutical companies in Ireland, as it condemned the European Commission’s proposals to alter intellectual property laws through the introduction of Special Protection Certificate (SPC) manufacturing waivers.

The SPC waivers would allow third party drug makers to manufacture medicinal products protected by SPCs thus increasing the ease with which generic and biosimilar versions of medicines could be manufactured and sent to market. However the pharmaceutical lobby have contested that Ireland’s research focused industry would be under threat as the new laws would not offer adequate protection.

IPHA Chief Executive Oliver O’Connor commented: “Future investments, and the capacity of the industry to continue scaling and creating jobs, are underpinned by a commitment to innovation and intellectual property rights.  Patients rely on industry innovation for the discovery and delivery of new medicines. We must guard against any moves, including the proposed introduction of manufacturing waivers, that could weaken our ability to support the work of the originator companies in the biopharma sector.”

However advocates for the new legislation have argued that changes to intellectual property law could increase competition and create up to 25,000 new pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs across the EU. Mylan’s European president Jacek Glinka backed the Irish government’s move to support SPC waivers as he suggested that the legislative changes could boost employment opportunities and ensure patients gained faster access to biosimilar and generic medicines.

The Mylan Chief commented that: “The whole industry sector agreed to give them [pharmaceutical companies] this monopoly with the system designed specifically to protect them so that they get their return. But they just want more. It is greedy and unfair. They want to abuse the system and ensure exclusivity continues post-patent update.”

Louis Goss 

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