Patents: an obstacle to research?
Worse still, several independent studies have shown that out of 10 new drugs put on the market every year, almost two-thirds do not present any added therapeutic value, and are sometimes even less effective than those already being marketed.
In order to secure profits and gain market share, the pharmaceutical companies do not hesitate to multiply patents around the same substance, thus prolonging a product’s period of market exclusivity and delaying the competition of generics. This practice, called “evergreening”, is an integral part of the sector’s business model. It threatens access of poor populations to vital drugs, and stifles the whole system of pharmaceutical discovery.