UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The strategic use of intellectual and industrial property laws to maintain and extend a dominant position in the pharmaceutical industry Rowland-Rouse, Jacqueline


It is assumed at the outset of this thesis that there is a public interest in the purchase of prescribed drugs at the lowest aggregate price consistent with the maintenace of reseach and development in the pharmaceutical field. The thesis investigates the operation of intellectual property law in this area and its effect on prices, investment, research and the availability of new drugs. The principal focus is on the United Kingdom but the conclusions reached may be validly applied to other jurisdictions. Each chapter is devoted to a specific branch of the law with a view to demonstrating how its exploitation by pharmaceutical firms has operated in the detriment of the public by virtually eliminating competition and thereby increasing prices. The unique nature of the pharmaceutical industry renders the desirability of exclusive rights in this area highly questionable and the abolition or curtailment of all forms of protection for pharmaceutical products is advocated.

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