Here’s a copy of the talk I gave at the American Chemical Society meeting, on using patent information to track globalization:
Check out it. I think the findings will surprise you!
The location of drug development is important for two reasons. Firstly, it is important to track the global spread of innovation. Much late stage drug development (e.g. clinical trials) and manufacturing have moved to lower wage-cost countries, but trends in the location of invention has not been clearly described. Knowing where drug invention is occurring can help streamline drug development by identifying ideal locations for research facilities. Secondly it is important to know where invention is occurring, because that may affect which drugs are developed. Early-stage research funding and, by extension, the research itself, is likely to be focused on conditions affecting the countries in which these activities are occurring. For example, research in the United States might focus on conditions such as heart disease and stroke, whereas research in Japan might emphasize stomach cancer.
By examining the patents covering drugs developed over the last decade, I was able to ascertain the locations of the inventors. Focusing on inventors is important because it gives a clear indication of where the control of the invention was located. Patents are required to list the names and locations of the individual(s) who maintained intellectual domination of the invention. Failure to list all inventors, or listing too many inventors, can yield an invalid patent. Whereas one might consider assessing globalization of invention by focusing on the location of the company funding the research, or the company listed on the patent, these strategies are flawed. The company funding the research may not be the same company which conducted the research (e.g. Japanese companies funded many of the early US biotechnology companies, but the inventions occurred in the US by US researchers, so focusing on the funder might produce the incorrect conclusion that the innovation was Japan-based), and many companies have facilities in multiple countries, making it impossible to determine in which of the countries an invention might have occurred. Looking at the company listed on a patent is also flawed. The company listed on a patent might not have been the company that housed the researchers or, even worse, it may be a tax shelter based in a country where no invention occurred. So, by focusing on the locations of the listed inventors it is possible to determine where the invention occurred. An additional benefit of this strategy is that it enables inclusion of patenters from numerous countries. For example for a patent listing one US-based and two Canadian inventors, the US would be given 1/3 credit for an invention, and Canada 2/3 credit.
So, what did I find? In short, the US and the legacy pharmaceutical countries in Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France and Switzerland) have been responsible for the bulk of new drugs invented over the past decade, and there is no indication that this dominance is waning. Emerging economies such as India and China were largely absent. For more details, please see the paper at Nature Reviews Drug Discovery: Location of pharmaceutical innovation: 2000–2009.
What do you think of the findings? Are you surprised? Do you disagree? Sound off in the comments.
As stringent new budgets have led to pharmaceutical companies cutting back, a certain concern and scepticism has risen over the high prices charged by drug companies, their continued problems with productivity, and falling success rates of new drugs. A significant drop in investment in drugmaking companies, and president Obama’s recent reforms of the healthcare system in the USA, feel like a precursor to change in a sector that traditionally relies on older products and philosophies, rather than innovating.
In a recent issue of the Journal of Generic Medicines, world-renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz and economics professor and Roosevelt Institute fellow Arjun Jayadev examine pharmaceutical R&D from a fresh economic perspective.
Stiglitz and Jayadev put forward the argument that current models of pharmaceutical drug discovery have major inefficiencies, and suggest four different policies to address them. They propose meaningful, realistic plans and pricing models to minimise costs to the public sector, maximise positive social impact and remedy the irrationalities in the current system.
Progressive and unafraid of controversy, the article’s arguments for how to improve pharmaceutical R&D are a must-read for anyone in the industry, as well as academics, policy-makers, stakeholders and members of government.
The article is available on the Journal of Generic Medicines website.
Coming soon, a book by Michael L. Salgaller, PhD. In this new book — Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: From Science to Solutions — Michael combines the voices of a diverse set of industry insiders with extensive experience in biotechnology commercialization to prepares nascent founders, managers, investors, and other biotechnology company stakeholders to position themselves and their companies for commercial success.
Media outlets interested in a review copy can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new report from DrugPatentWatch.com profiles the leading researchers, US states, and countries responsible for drugs approved over the past ten years.
The report features:
Here is a short list of the top drug inventors:
|Inventor||US State / Country||Number of Patents|
|Wong, Patrick S.||California||24|
|Ebert, Charles D.||Utah||17|
|Chaudry, Imtiaz A.||New Jersey||17|
|Ayer, Atul D.||California||16|
|Mandeville, III, W. Harry||Massachusetts||16|
|Sequeira, Joel A.||New York||15|
|Rand, Paul K.||United Kingdom||15|
For more information, see http://www.DrugPatentWatch.com/reports/ .