EU warned over patents for children’s medicines

The EU’s draft regulation on paediatrics has come under attack from the generics industry. It claims patent extensions for children’s medicines should only be granted to low-selling products which are unlikely to generate quick profits.

The European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) has warned against the EU fast-tracking a draft EU law on paediatrics which would allow big pharma groups to enjoy an extra six months patent protection for medicines aimed at children.  

At a press conference on 19 April, EGA’s Director General Greg Perry said the generics industry agrees to the principle of extending patent’s lives to cover the extra research pharma groups require to develop children’s medicines. 

But he said the six-month extension currently in the draft EU regulation should only apply to low-selling products, not to blockbusters. This would be unnecessarily costly to healthcare budgets, said Perry.

This argument is contradicted by the EFPIA, which represents the patented drug industry. “For industry, a 6-months extension is a strict minimum requirement,” a spokesman told Reuters.

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