Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pharmaceutical Innovation, Competition And Patent Law: a Trilateral Perspective: a new book

Pharmaceutical Innovation, Competition And Patent Law: a Trilateral Perspective, edited by Max Planck Director Josef Drexl and Finnish scholar Nari Lee, has just been published by Edward Elgar. This book has a strong list of contributors drawn from Europe and the United States, principally from academe but with some members of the judiciary and public administration thrown in. Normally this blogger would deprecate the absence of some input from industry or private practice, but this criticism would be misplaced in a volume such as this, where the contributors have addressed real-world issues in a refreshingly direct and accessible manner, with as much attention to factual detail and commercial reality as one might expect from anyone familiar with the workings of the IP system at the point of convergence between innovation, competition and patent law.

What does the publisher say about this work?  According to its web-blurb:
"Public health, safety and access to reasonably priced medicine are common policy goals of pharmaceutical regulations. As both the context for innovation and competitive structure change, industry actors dynamically challenge the balance between the incentive for protection ['the incentive for protection' is what we bloggers used to term "profit" but now increasingly call "survival"] and the achievement of those policy goals.

Considering the arguments from the perspectives of innovation, competition law and patent law, this book explores the difficult question of balancing protection with access, highlighting the difficulties in harmonization and coordination. The contributors to this book, including academics, judges and practitioners from Europe, the US and Japan, explore to what extent patent strategies and life-cycle management practices take advantage of patent laws and health-care regulation and disrupt the necessary balance [this gives the game away: some might have expected the text to read "necessarily disrupt the balance" --  but that's a subject for another book ...] between incentives for innovation and access to affordable medicine and health care".
This is an enjoyable and thoroughly contemporary account of the shifts that have influenced an extremely important area of law and practice.  Annoying and, in this era of computerised setting pretty well inexcusable, is the lack of a table of cases and a bibliography of materials cited by the respective authors. Not everyone reads a book from cover to cover and retains a perfect recall of the authors' sources, and this small addition would give the book an element of functionality that would greatly enhance its value.

Full bibliographic information about it may be obtained from this book's web page here.

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