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US-China trade deal sees changes on drug patents

Published on 16/01/20 at 11:22am

The US and China signed the first part of a broader trade pact that included setting up a system to resolve conflicts over drug patents between the two countries.

In a statement the Trump administration said: “Robust protection of intellectual property is critical to incentivizing the development of new and innovative treatments and cures.”

The deal would ensure that disputes over patents for exclusive drugs could be resolved before a copycat medicine enters the market in China, and brand companies would be able to seek an order to block any sales until the conflicts are resolved. Drug companies would also be able to seek extensions of their patents to compensate for delays in the patent office or while waiting for Chinese health regulators to approve a drug.

Brian Toohey, the Head of International Advocacy at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said: “The agreement represents important steps forward in pursuing policies that will usher in a more fair and open market in China.”

China has agreed to share information on inspection of sites that make the raw materials for drugs, and pledged to step enforcement against counterfeit medicines.

Conor Kavanagh

 

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