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Patents on medical innovations and value pluralism in India: Paradoxes and choices
Published in Research and Information System for Developing Countries
2020
Volume: 21-22
   
Issue: 3-1
Pages: 41 - 81
Abstract
Patent as a rewarding system to the inventor has been in vogue for more than six hundred years. This has resulted in major innovations that have revolutionised our lives besides saving millions of lives and eradicating deadly diseases. But over the years the corporations rather than scientists or technocrats have become the claimants and owners of patents. In the process the balance between incentivisation and patenting for control has been lost and this has resulted in major questions on the objectives and functioning of the intellectual property rights regimes, particularly in the case of drugs and pharmaceuticals. In this paper the idea of value pluralism is used to develop an alternative perspective and it is illustrated with two case studies. It is contended that this approach is suitable for countries like India. It is important to explore the alternatives like Prizes, Open Source Drug Discovery and other ideas that seek to overcome the problems with the patent law and practice. Since patents on medical innovations is also an issue of access and affordability to life saving drugs, devices and treatments, a narrow view on patents and innovation is not sufficient. This paper examines the values and choices before the society and calls for a rethinking in our approach to invention and incentivisation. © 2020, RIS.
About the journal
JournalAsian Biotechnology and Development Review
PublisherResearch and Information System for Developing Countries
ISSN09727566