Letters High cost of new drugs

Patents: problem or panacea?

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4526 (Published 23 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4526
  1. Chika E Uzoigwe, specialty doctor, trauma and orthopaedics1,
  2. Jonathan McCann, F2 doctor2,
  3. George Iacob, F2 doctor2
  1. 1Harcourt House, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, UK
  1. chika{at}doctors.org.uk

The cost of hepatitis C treatment has caused alarm.1 The exclusivity provided by patents allows Gilead considerable price control. The primary patent relating to the structure of sofosbuvir expires in 2024.2 The term of a patent is 20 years.3

Mazzucato argues that one way of improving accessibility is by curtailing patent longevity.1 However, EU and …

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