“BIO welcomes the release of U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) 2018 Special 301 Report, particularly the attention it provides regarding the threats that the biopharmaceutical industry faces from a variety of global governmental practices such as abuse of compulsory licensing of intellectual property and reimbursement practices that fail to recognize the value of innovative medicines.
“The research and development of cutting edge pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, and environmental biotechnology products require substantial capital, involves long time frames, and is inherently risky. The entire biotechnology industry relies heavily on the strength of globally respected intellectual property (IP) rights to generate investments needed to develop and commercialize technologies.
“The U.S. bioscience industries employs approximately 1.7 million people across more than 85,000 U.S. business establishments. The broader employment impact of U.S. bioscience jobs is an additional 8.9 million jobs throughout the rest of the economy. Taken together, these direct and indirect bioscience jobs account for a total employment impact of 10.6 million jobs.
“While the USTR’s 2018 report addresses many of the key IP-related challenges that BIO members face globally, the agency must more forcefully rebuke the unjustified actions of nations that abuse compulsory licensing authority. In particular, we look for more specificity and strong action on potentially precedent-setting practices that deny adequate and effective intellectual property protection or fair and equitable market access for U.S. products.
“We strongly encourage more robust efforts by USTR and other government agencies to effectively address and limit the use of such practices, many of which are cited specifically in the report, which threaten to undermine a leading U.S. technology sector.
“The promise of biotechnology is that it can address some of the biggest challenges facing mankind, including health, hunger, and environmental protection. While stronger IP laws and policies in foreign markets help BIO members do business abroad, a commitment to stronger IP also works to increase the global incentives for biotech research and investment, including investments in countries seeking to foster innovation in biosciences.”
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.