EU pharma strategy could allow for shorter drug patents

A long-awaited proposal for the EU pharmaceutical strategy from the European Parliament doesn't directly reject the notion of changing the length of EU drug patents.

Photo: Jens Dresling

The EU pharmaceutical strategy moves ahead without any clear objections – particularly pertaining to drug patent rights – from the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), one of the negotiators behind the proposed strategy, Linea Søgaard-Lindell, reports.

In the proposed strategy text – which will be put to vote on Monday and Tuesday – the Committee opens up for the possibility of looking into the pharmaceutical industry's "incentive structures." This wording could potentially allow the Commission to shorten the duration of drug patents in Europe, admits Søgaard-Lidell, who has negotiated on behalf of the liberal group Renew Europe.

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