In the US, drug patents give twenty years of protection, but they are applied for before clinical trials begin, so the effective life of a drug patent tends to be between seven and twelve years.
Medications have enormous development costs, the low end of the estimates are $100 to $200 million dollars (the cost of the clinical trials, alone, is enormous). Yet we are content to give them an effective period of copyright of seven to twelve years.
This is an area of copyright law where we have attempted to balance the need to reimburse development costs with the value of allowing an innovation into the open market. Why do we see laws that are so much stricter with ideas like "Mickey Mouse" and "Superhero"?
It is certainly food for thought!
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