Bracing against the wind  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to Fix Medical Research in One Law

The #1 reason why companies won't research or develop a drug or treatment - even if it works or has proven mechanism - is if they don't think a patent will hold.

If the drug is a pre-existing compound, or was published in research literature by a University... this will often preclude development.

This problem was illustrated quite nicely in a recent Newsweek article, but the author came to a rather backward conclusion.

The right solution is simple. The company that pays for the clinical trials and gets FDA clearance for a drug or treatment should receive an exclusive right to develop or license that precise treatment for several years - even if it is not patentable.

In other words...if you do a trial on Vitamin-C infusion as a cancer cure... and prove it, and get clearance to use that treatment.... then your company becomes the only company allowed to to advertise and sell Vitamin-C cancer treatments for 3 years.

Sure, lots of people will "off label" buy their own Vitamin-C and use it. But a good marketing team with an exclusive on a working treatment is worth its weight in gold.

A simple law like this would be extremely beneficial to the industry. Billions of dollars are wasted every week on developing new, less-effective drugs, when effective solutions already exist... merely because pre-existing drugs aren't patentable.

An incentive for innovative treatments - without needing to develop new drugs, would work wonders. Literally.

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