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TOPIC: Big Pharma<->patent rights<->social entrepreneurship<->prices

Big Pharma<->patent rights<->social entrepreneurship<->price​s 1 year 10 months ago #22262

  • rohcvfighter
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Hello Everybody,

we've seen in the past and we are still seeing a lot of controversy about the invention of Sofosbuvir based regimens, patent rights, interest of Big Pharma to recover research expenses, patients having problems in accessing the much needed medication through the NHS systems and the huge efforts being made in order to access the generic treatment.
Every time the debates get stuck in the classical dilemma: "patent rights" vs "patients rights".

So herewith I am trying to bring into discussion a perspective that perhaps will help some day ..... perhaps a government, NHS, political person, etc.

It starts with the classification of :
WHAT TYPE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP DOES A PHARMA COMPANY USE WHEN IT BRINGS A NEW DRUG ON THE MARKET
I see here 2 answers:
1) Social Entrepreneurship (text from wikipedia)
Social entrepreneurship in modern society offers an altruistic form of entrepreneurship that focuses on the benefits that society may reap.
Simply put, entrepreneurship becomes a social endeavor when it transforms social capital in a way that affects society positively.
It is viewed as advantageous because the success of social entrepreneurship depends on many factors related to social impact that traditional corporate businesses do not prioritize.
Social entrepreneurs recognize immediate social problems, but also seek to understand the broader context of an issue that crosses disciplines, fields, and theories.


2) Entrepreneurship is (text from Wikipedia)
Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. It has been defined as the "...capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit."

And now the debate:
a) If a Pharma company invents a new drug and wants the patent protection for it, due to the fact we are talking about people's lives and health, the patent should offer protection in the context that the Pharma company acts with this drug as a social entrepreneur to heal the patients from the society.
What might this mean? It means that the Pharma company and the government of the country where that Pharma company wants to have the patent protection should discuss together and agree an affordable price for that country in order to treat the patients.
In an ideal world, the government / NHS of that country should have the interest to treat its patients and it should not be the highest concern of the Pharma company. It is like a dance:
- Pharma Co.- I bring the drugs
- Government - I bring the patients
- Patients get treated, Pharma Co. gets the money (computed in such a way to make also profit), the Governments has its patients treated.
Everybody is happy.

b) If the Pharma Co. believes it can make much more money by acting as an entrepreneur, and not as a social entrepreneur, then the Pharma Co. should undertake all risks of bringing the drug to the market, place whatever price they consider as relevant and make their profit. But .... no patent protection as it is today.
I would bring here the example of the smartphones industry. It was nice to see in mid 2000's the Apple smartphones coming on the market, but this was not forbidding the access on the market for other smartphones like Samsung, HTC, etc.... And today we can enjoy a full range of options when deciding what smartphone we wish to buy. Apple is doing nice profits, Samsung is doing the same, so are the others. If I am not wrong, Apple has a patent on how it makes the smartphones, but not on the idea of "smartphone". By compare, in the case of Sofosbuvir based regimens, the Pharma Company should have a patent on the technological process about how to produce Sofosbuvir, but not on the chemical formula of Sofosbuvir.

I would like to hope that by adopting such a thinking (on country levels), it will lead someday in the future to the breaking of the vicious circle of the "patent rights" vs "patients rights" dilemma ...

Cheers,
RHF
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