Today is World Intellectual Property Day, a celebration across the globe of the protections that allow creativity, risk-taking and innovation to thrive. America has long been the world’s innovation center – whether that is in manufacturing, technology or biopharmaceuticals. And it has been shown time and time again that strong protection of intellectual property (IP) is good for patients as it leads to the creation of innovative medicines and lifesaving cures.
Strong IP protections are critical to not only the creation of new drugs, but also to increased patient access to lifesaving drugs in markets throughout the world. Robust, effective approaches to IP encourage the development of new drugs that, after a period of time for further investment in R&D, can then be produced as generics.
Patents are important protections for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs. New medicines, especially, require years of research and billions of dollars before they can even reach patients. These protections are necessary to protect the investment, allowing companies to recoup costs and then further invest in R&D.
Protecting patents is also vital to protecting life sciences innovation. The incentives given to investors and researchers catalyze the creation of new medicines and spur discovery. Just the other week, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) found that IP protections are crucial to stimulating innovation and improving lives.
In their study, the ITIF found that strong IP protections have extended the world’s average life expectancy, created strong industries and supported the development of lifesaving medicines. The study notes that more chemical entities have been introduced in the United States in the 2000s than the next five countries combined. This is due to the commitment America has made to the biopharmaceutical industry and the innovation economy.
This World IP Day, we hope America continues their commitment to the life sciences industry and the advancement of new treatments. As long as protections exist for innovators, the United States will continue to lead the world in creating innovative, lifesaving medicines.
Mark Grayson Mark Grayson is deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on intellectual property, trade and international issues. Mark has been at PhRMA for more than 30 years joining PhRMA after a career with large public affairs firms focusing on FDA and financial issues. In his spare time Mark plays squash, bridge and takes long walks with his squirrel-chasing dog Teddy.