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Biomedical Patents: Innovation and Access, Trust and Mistrust


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Nicol, D 2007 , 'Biomedical Patents: Innovation and Access, Trust and Mistrust', in MJA Stranger (ed.), Human biotechnology & public trust : trends, perceptions and regulation , Centre for Law and Genetics, Hobart, Tas..

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Public trust in biomedicine may be adversely affected by knowledge of private sector involvement in the public sector research effort and patenting of genes and other foundational research tools by public sector organizations. Yet the private sector has a vital role to play in funding research and bringing products to market. Moreover, appropriate steps need to be taken to secure return for investment, usually by taking out patents. The appropriateness of patenting genetic technologies, particularly gene sequences and other research tools, is a matter of ongoing controversy. Although there is limited evidence that gene patents and other research tool patents are negatively impacting on research, innovation and access to new healthcare products by consumers, this could occur more frequently in the near future. There is a clear need for discussion of options for improving access to these patents, including exemptions from infringement, compulsory licensing and government use, and other more cooperative access strategies, and for increased involvement of the public in these discussions and strategies.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Nicol, D
Journal or Publication Title: Centre for Law and Genetics Occasional Paper Series
Publisher: Centre for Law and Genetics
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