China Agrees to Changes on Drug Patents as Part of Trade Deal - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • China has agreed to set up a system to resolve conflicts over drug patents as part of what US and Chinese officials are calling the first phase of a broader trade pact between the two countries, reported Bloomberg.

  • Under terms of the deal, patent disputes over potential generic drugs could be resolved before a generic medicine enters the market in China, while branded companies would be able to seek an order to block any sales until the conflicts are resolved. 

  • Further, drugmakers would be able to ask for extensions on their patents to compensate for "unreasonable" delays in the patent office or while waiting for Chinese health regulators to approve a product for sale. 

  • However, the trade deal does not include an agreement on data exclusivity, which temporarily stops rival firms from using data from the original maker of a product to develop their own versions.

  • Patent terms in both countries are for 20 years from the date of application, according to the news source, although clinical testing and regulatory filings often take up a large portion of that time.

  • Meanwhile, China also pledged to bolster enforcement efforts against counterfeit medicines, including bulk chemicals or active pharmaceutical ingredients. It also agreed to share information on inspection of sites that make the raw materials for drugs.

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