Monday, November 07, 2005

Washington Post on Tamiflu: U.S. bullies IP owners

But the U.S. isn't a model of respect for intellectual property, either. Panicked by its own lateness, the Bush administration has bullied Roche into opening a new production operation in the United States; if Roche had refused, the administration was ready to break the patent. Sen. Chuck Schumer has gone further, denouncing Roche for elevating profits above health and demanding that the firm license its technology to other drugmakers or face legislation compelling it to do so. Coming on top of similar bullying four years ago of Bayer, the maker of an anti-anthrax drug, this browbeating sends a clear signal: If you make a drug that turns out to be really important, don't expect patent laws to protect you.

<-- by Sebastian Mallaby

In the earlier CIPRO confrontation, the "bullying" pertained to negotiation over price, and there was a related fear that such price negotiation could carry over into a prescription plan for Medicare.
See "Where have you gone, Richard K. Lyon," Intellectual Property Today, Oct. 2001.

While Mallaby mentions Charles Schumer (One day Schumer may be secretary for health in a Democratic administration.), he didn't mention anything about Gilead (or Rumsfeld).


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