Seeking Patent Reform in Europe - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Seeking Patent Reform in Europe

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) is calling for a reform of the European patent system. The agency stresses that the quality of patent examinations and applications should be improved, and that examination and opposition proceedings should be accelerated.

Speaking at the sixth EGA legal-affairs forum held in Munich last week, Greg Perry, director general of the EGA, said, "If the patent system is not reformed in Europe, drug manufacturers will encounter increasing hurdles to competition and real innovation."

The importance of the patent system was highlighted in the European Commission's Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry, which was launched in 2008 to determine why few novel medicines were being brought to market. The final report, released in 2009, called for the strengthening of the European patent system and also suggested the establishment of a single European patent. Both views were supported by the European Patent Office (EPO), which has been trying to "raise the bar" to help end patent uncertainty.

In a press statement, the EGA said that it supports the EPO's efforts and also backs the introduction of an Information Disclosure Statement, a requirement for applicants to provide the results of earlier relevant patent office searches to aid the European examination procedure.

EGA remains concerned about some issues, however. First, the agency is worried about the possibility of evading EPO rules that limit the filing of divisional applications. Second, the EGA adds that patent litigation discrepancies across Europe are problematic. "This disparity could be solved by the establishment of a well-balanced, central European Patent Court with technically qualified experienced judges," said the press statement. "This would create an opportunity to streamline and simplify patent disputes."

Following on from the inquiry, the EGA has said that it will continue dialogue with the EPO with the aim of improving the efficiency of the patent system in line with proposals from the European Commission.

"The follow up to the Pharmaceutical Sector inquiry is now clearly taking place. Recent moves by the European Commission's DG competition to investigate actions that hinder the market entry of generic citalopram and Spain's move to accelerate pricing decisions for generic medicines are evidence of this," said Perry.


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
| Weekly

What role should the US government play in the current Ebola outbreak?
Finance development of drugs to treat/prevent disease.
Oversee medical treatment of patients in the US.
Provide treatment for patients globally.
All of the above.
No government involvement in patient treatment or drug development.
Finance development of drugs to treat/prevent disease.
Oversee medical treatment of patients in the US.
Provide treatment for patients globally.
All of the above.
No government involvement in patient treatment or drug development.
Jim Miller Outsourcing Outlook Jim MillerCMO Industry Thins Out
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerFluorination Remains Key Challenge in API Synthesis
Marilyn E. Morris Guest EditorialMarilyn E. MorrisBolstering Graduate Education and Research Programs
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Biopharma Manufacturers Respond to Ebola Crisis
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoHarmonizing Marketing Approval of Generic Drugs in Europe
FDA Reorganization to Promote Drug Quality
FDA Readies Quality Metrics Measures
New FDA Team to Spur Modern Drug Manufacturing
From Generics to Supergenerics
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?
Source: ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology,
Click here