European pharmaceutical companies have criticized a recent U.S. government proposal to shorten the patent protection term for biologic drugs, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.
Currently, patented biologic drugs are protected for a period of 12 years. Under the proposal, this period would be reduced to seven years.
Drug makers have argued that shortening the patent-enforcement period would impact their business models significantly, render existing intellectual property strategies ineffective and make it difficult to generate profits by developing new drugs.
Responding to the proposal, representatives of the pharmaceutical sector claimed protection of intellectual property is essential for both profitability and the continued development of important new treatments.
Shire, a drug manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, issued a statement criticizing the proposal. "We believe that type of change in the exclusivity period will restrict innovation and investment by the life-sciences industry to develop new treatments for patients," the company said.
Pharmaceutical companies and other businesses that generate profits from intellectual assets require carefully considered strategies to ensure the profitability of new innovations.