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[经济学人] [2009.08.06] Something rotten 腐朽的机制

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发表于 2010-4-28 22:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Generic drugs and competition
仿制药和竞争

Something rotten腐朽的机制

Aug 6th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Regulators should put a stop to tactics that delay the introduction of generic drugs监管机构应叫停各种推迟仿制药上市的策略

AS THE rich world’s governments struggle to contain the costs of health care, they are starting to scrutinise the price of drugs. This may seem unfair, when pharmaceuticals account for less than a fifth of their countries’ health-care costs, and misguided, because innovation will wither if not rewarded. However, a noisy chorus argues that the drug industry is making the prices of its products needlessly high by suppressing cheap generics. Governments from Canada to Japan are looking into this. And, in this case at least, the critics are on to something.
在有钱人世界的政府正极力控制卫生保健费用的时候,他们已开始着手审核药品的价格。这项措施看起来似乎不公平,因为药品开销只占了那些国家不到五分之一的卫生保健费用。这项措施也似乎不理智,因为没有奖励将导致创新的枯竭。然而,千夫所指的症结是制药行业通过压制便宜的仿制药来保持它们自己产品的不必要的高价格。从加拿大到日本的政府都正在研究这一点。而且,至少在这种情况下,这些批评是有的放矢的。

The most egregious offence is the “pay-for-delay” deal, under which a patent-holder pays a maker of generic drugs to delay its launch of a cheap copy. America’s Justice Department has called such deals “presumptively unlawful” and has vowed to prosecute them with vigour. The Federal Trade Commission estimates they cost Americans $3.5 billion a year.
妨碍仿制药上市最臭名昭著的绊脚石是“付费推迟”协议。根据这项协议,专利持有人可以买通仿制药制造商以推迟其将廉价的复制产品推向市场。美国司法部已认定这种协议“推定非法” ,并誓言要坚决地起诉他们。美国联邦贸易委员会的估计这项协议下的交易每年耗费美国人三点五亿美元。



American officials are examining other tactics. One is a law intended to encourage generics that grants the first copy of a patented drug to win regulatory approval in America a six-month monopoly. Often, however, the first generic does not have a free run, because patent-owners have taken to selling “authorised” generic versions of branded pills. The big drug firms point out that authorised generics drive down the price of copies. Fine; but they also erode the value of the six-month prize and hence generics firms’ incentive to win it.


美国官员正在研究大制药商其他的一些招术。
其中之一是利用一项旨在鼓励仿制药的法律。这项法律授予专利药物的第一个仿制品由监管机构批准的在美国6个月的垄断权。然而,在通常情况下,第一个仿制药并不能在市场上自由的销售,因为专利所有人都会采取销售品牌药物的“授权”仿制药的措施进行干扰。大制药公司指出,授权的仿制药能够压低仿制品的价格。
这点说得不错,但他们同时也降低了这项给予仿制药公司进行6个月垄断销售的奖励的价值,从而降低了仿制药公司争取这项奖励的积极性。




Regulators in the European Union are also concerned. The European Commission calculates that generic drugs arrive seven months after the relevant patent expires—a delay it says costs consumers more than
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