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Evidence of 'evergreening' in secondary patenting of blockbuster drugs

Christie, A.F., Dent, C.ORCID: 0000-0002-1801-713X and Studdert, D.M. (2021) Evidence of 'evergreening' in secondary patenting of blockbuster drugs. Melbourne University Law Review, 44 (2). pp. 537-564.

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Secondary patents associated with blockbuster drugs are granted for follow-on innovations relating to the active pharmaceutical ingredient (‘API’) of the drug. Our analysis of all sec-ondary patents for 13 top-selling drugs in Australia shows that, while the majority of fol-low-on innovations are made by entities other than the originator of the drug, the innova-tions with the highest private value are undertaken by the drug’s originator and concern a delivery mechanism or an alternative formulation for the API. Since that is the type of follow-on innovation most commonly undertaken by drug originators, and considered most likely to result in a de facto extension of marketplace monopoly over the drug, we see in these findings evidence that the originators of blockbuster drugs engage in secondary patenting that has an ‘evergreening’ effect.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Publisher: Melbourne University Law Review
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