Friday, 30 September 2011

Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation in Portugal

Court actions started by pharmaceutical companies usually delay or even stop appearance of generics in the market. This causes big harm not only to companies producing generics or consumers but also to those Governments that pay for the treatments of their population. This may be one of the reasons of the Portuguese Government attempt to establish the new dispute resolution reported by Baptista, Monteverde & Asociados in their last Newsletter (here) (pdf alert):

“It is clearly stated that a Marketing Authorization (MA) has the single purpose of assessing the quality, safety, and efficacy of the medicine and therefore a request for a MA should not be refused, changed, suspended or revoked due to the preexistence
of any IP rights.

By enacting this Law, the Government intends that it will be no longer possible for patentees to cancel or suspend MAs, retail prices or reimbursement decisions for generics medicines.

The Administrative Courts will no longer be competent for litigation related with IP rights. Any possible disputes related with medicines of reference and generics will become compulsorily subject to arbitration. Apparently, not even the civil Courts or the commercial Courts will be handling any patent enforcement matters related with medicines of reference and generics.

The Government seems to be aiming for getting the possible issues related with patent infringement solved before the MA is granted”.

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