27 November 2006

Enclosing the Pharmaceutical Commons

The biotechnology industry has proposed to change the international generic naming of medicine ingredients, which at the moment are public property, into unique names for each medicine, making it harder to substitute them with cheaper versions, and linking them to trademarks, sources say.

And why are they doing this? Not to stymie generics that can be made available to those unable to afford high drug prices, oh my word, no. As Nathalie Moll of EuropaBio, the European association for biotechnology industries, explained, the change is

"not so much for us but for the patient"

Aw, bless 'em: always thinking of others these selfless pharmaceutical companies.

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