Patent law and innovation in medicine

October 19, 2015
Steven Lim Troy High School 10th Grade

By Steven Lim
Troy High School
10th Grade

Patent laws, which were initially developed to promote and protect innovation of scientists and companies, have actually discouraged the production of newer medicines that are not able to be patented.

For example, as shown in the article, “How Patent Law Can Block Even Lifesaving Drugs,” by Austin Frakt, many exciting innovations have been rejected and considered to be unable to be patented.

Many drug patents are turned down because they are not “novel” enough or present functions that are too obvious. Drugs for hypertension and inflammation drugs prove to be examples that have been labeled as not “novel” or too obvious, and therefore are rejected.

However, these drugs could have helped many people had it not been for these rejections.

Without approval of patents, medical corporations are discouraged from releasing a specific drug because competition from other corporations constantly hinders them from earning a profit. Although patent laws are designed to prevent profit for “me too” drugs, which are copies from previously developed drugs, they discourage the production of new and advanced drugs, which ultimately prevents the corporations from releasing them in fear of losing money.


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  3. b0ss

    January 23, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    Wow, very interesting. Great article Mr. Lim!

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