Las patentes de medicamentos: la política correcta para el problema incorrecto / Drug patents: the right policy for the wrong problem

Pasqualina Curcio

Resumen


El objetivo es identificar las consecuencias de convertir el bien público conocimiento de nuevos medicamentos, en un bien privado. Nos basamos en la Teoría Microeconómica y en los Convenios de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual. Concluimos que las patentes de medicamentos traen como consecuencia: 1) el bajo acceso a los medicamentos por los altos precios y bajas cantidades producidas, debido a la creación legal de monopolios, y 2) el establecimiento de la agenda de investigación en función de los intereses de la industria farmacéutica asociada a su potencial rentabilidad, en lugar de los interés colectivos relacionados con los problemas de salud de las poblaciones. La recomendación es que el Estado asuma directamente la I+D y se sugiere la creación de un Fondo Global de Salud para la I+D.

Abstract

Knowledge, according to economic theory, is a public good: it is non-exclusive, meaning the private sector, whose aim is to maximize profits, does not have incentive to produce it since they could neither recover the investment costs nor mae a profit .
Secondly, it behaves as a non-rival good, meaning the fact that a pharmaceutical company (public or private) uses and consumes this knowledge to manufacture a type of medication does not exempt other companies from also making use of this know-how to produce the same drug. Since knowledge behaves as a public good, private industry cannot recover the cost of producing it, so they do not have the motivation to invest in research and development (R&D) in knowledge .
The presence of public goods in the economy arises from what economy theory calls market failure: those situations in which the market alone cannot efficiently allocate resources. When producers can not exclude the consumer who benefits from it without paying, and therefore cannot recover the costs that are incurred and, much less, maximize profits (in the case of private producers), incomplete markets are created and, thus, a failure from an economic point-of-view. To overcome market failures, an external agent is required to intervene, in this case, the State, so as to, through public policy, reduce or eliminate these market failures by 'completing the market' and supplying these goods .
Intellectual property rights have emerged as a public policy that responds to the disincentive that private companies suffer from in researching and developing new skills, giving inventors the right to prevent others from using their creations, and using that right to secure payment for the use of these products. These rights, whilst having been present in various agreements , are consolidated and systematized in the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) contained in the Marrakech Declaration on 15 April 1994 .
These intellectual property rights aimed at protecting the stimulation of innovation, invention and technological creation are classified in TRIPS as patents , which protect inventions for at least 20 years .

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Oficinas Editoriales: Asociación Latinoamericana de Medicina Social (ALAMES) Región Cono Sur, Cassinoni 1440 – 802, CP 11200, Montevideo, Uruguay & ALAMES Región México, A.C., San Jerónimo 70 – 1, Col. La Otra Banda, CP 01090, México, D.F.
E-correo: socmed.medsoc@gmail.com
Teléfono: (52-55) 51 71 96 19

Departmento de Medicina Familiar y Social de la Escuela de Medicina Albert Einstein, Centro Médico Montefiore, Bronx, New York, 10461