Coronavirus Fallout: China’s Patent Grab Frightens U.S. Pharma Companies

An attempt to patent a medicine already patented in the U.S. and elsewhere, and currently being developed by U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences, raises serious intellectual property concerns and may undermine China’s IP and trade progress. 

“Eminent domain” in real estate means that a government or local entity can force the sale of land for the public good. China is trying initiate something akin to that in order to achieve success (medical and financial) with the coronavirus and it has already affected Gilead’s stock, which is down about 5% since Monday as U.S. indices reach new hights.

China says the it will not seek a compulsory license. What it is doing, ignoring and issued patent by granting one of its own, could be far worse.

Bloomberg’s Max Nisen, no fan of big pharma, believes what is being done is not only unfair, it will lead to less investment and fewer medical breakthroughs. Nisen weighs in with a timely opinion piece, “China’s Drug Patent Grab Makes Coronavirus Scrarry for Pharma.”

 

Image source: health.harvard.edu

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