CGD Blog Post Discusses Research On Impact Of Patents On Drug Availability

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: What Drug Patents Do Is Complicated: A Belated Contribution from Jenny Lanjouw Helps Sort It Out
Kimberly Ann Elliott, senior fellow at CGD, discusses research by former CGD fellow Jenny Lanjouw and her coauthors, Iain Cockburn and Mark Schankerman, on patents and drug availability. “What the new [American Economic Review] article demonstrates is that prices don’t matter if drugs are not available at all. … [E]xtensive price controls delay the launch of new drugs, even in countries with strong patent systems, which creates an obvious dilemma for resource-constrained governments and consumers,” Elliot writes. She also discusses an article by Thomas Bollyky, which “suggests that the price effects of stronger patent protection may be less of a problem for access than previously thought” (4/4).

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