‘Holistic Approach’ To Drug Development, Distribution More Effective Than Eliminating Patent Protections On Biopharmaceuticals

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Don’t Blame Pharmaceutical Companies
Steve Ubl, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

“The authors of ‘The U.S. Is Standing in the Way of Cheaper Drugs for the Poor‘ (Opinion, Oct. 27) argue that eliminating patent protections on innovative biopharmaceuticals will improve access to medicines. … This is especially concerning as off-patent medicines represent over 90 percent of the World Health Organization’s essential drugs, yet millions still lack access. Tackling the real global barriers to access would include addressing a lack of health care professionals, inadequate infrastructure, appropriate distribution systems, and clean water. … The truth is that patients cannot receive new medicines unless they are invented. A holistic approach, where industry collaborates with governments, NGOs, and bodies like the United Nations and WHO is much more productive than blaming pharmaceutical companies” (11/21).