Intellectual Property

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Intellectual Property Shanahan. The ability to codify and share intellectual property (i.e., scientific understanding) can bring the 20% R&D cost closer to 16% to 18% of revenue. The current inability to codify and share is at the root of the following challenges: bringing new drugs and therapies to market in an increasingly regulated environment; accelerating the understanding of gene-based and protein-based interactions in cells, upon which new drug discovery depends; effectively managing research where collaboration between departments and across companies is prevalent; and lowering the marginal cost of drug-discovery research and development. Current codification of intellectual property in ad-hoc office documents or programming languages is slowing the pace at which IP can be shared, reused, and collaborated on. Savello. Patents and intellectual property are under attack all over the world. Even though only three of 10 new drugs approved earn enough money to pay for their development, governments, patient-advocacy groups, and generic drug companies are constantly on the attack to weaken the intellectual property cornerstone of innovation. Matthews. Counterfeiting and the growing international effort to undermine patents are big challenges. There is growing evidence that counterfeiting is exploding around the world, especially in developing countries. Some counterfeiters are so sophisticated that they can virtually duplicate elaborate packaging, even while they pay little or no attention to the drug inside. The problem is that the industry and the FDA are doing everything they can to stop the counterfeiting and getting no credit for it, indeed, they are being criticized by politicians and others for their attempts. But, if — and most likely when — Americans are hurt by counterfeit drugs, those same politicians will blame the industry for not doing enough. The international attempt to undermine patent rights comes in at a close second to counterfeiting. The industry, however, has taken some very positive steps. Partnering with countries that want to attract R&D industries, as some have done, is exactly the right move. Licensing out generics to other companies overseas is also good. Both actions attempt to bring countries in and make allies of them rather than adversaries. And, if these efforts work, in the long run those countries will enjoy strong economic growth, which will encourage them to strengthen patent protections even more. beh Swan Gin. Intellectual property protection is the lifeblood of this industry. A growing issue for many biomedical companies is the need to ensure that their IP is protected even as the industry explores opportunities for outsourcing to cheaper locations, locations where the regulatory framework for IP protection is still evolving. We believe that Singapore offers one of the best places in Asia for the commercialization of ideas and innovations because it boasts the strongest IP protection regime in the region. For instance, Singapore was ranked as the most IP-protective country in Asia in 2003 by PERC, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd. In 2002, the World Economic Forum and the Institute for Management Development also ranked Singapore top in Asia for IP protection. Singapore is a member of all of the key IP-related conventions and organizations such as the Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Madrid Protocol, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Budapest Treaty, Agreement on Trade-related aspects of IP rights, and World Intellectual Property Organization. The IP chapter of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) also brought Singapore’s IP regulations in line with U.S. practices. What’s Your Opinion? 2005 — A look ahead What are the most significant business challenges you believe the industry will face in 2005? Website ROI From an e-marketing perspective, 2005 will be a year of increased accountability for program performance. Challenged by the indirect sales environment, marketers will need to find new ways to measure the impact of their Websites and e-promotions on prescriptions and sales. To improve Web performance there should be an increased focus on driving information seekers, especially consumers, to a measurable call-to-action. Marketers need to look to new tools, such as intelligent search engines, that can deliver more personalized, contextual content based on visitors’ intent. Important side benefits of any optimization will be improved customer service that will help build trust, or rebuild it, in a time of poor public image. Marketers will continue to find it harder to reach and influence healthcare providers so expect an increase in Web-based initiatives, where users favor learning in their own time in an environment they can control. As the Web becomes increasingly important to professionals and consumers alike, successful marketers will integrate Web programs across all marketing channels, instead of treating them as discrete, nontraditional communication channels. Ian Cross CEO I-SITE

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