Patents are commendable and if successful immensely rewardingfor aPharma company to perform innovative research to launch new drugs. But monetization of patents in the Pharma industry has its owns issues as listed below. These are facts for the regulated markets (US, EU, Japan). But then they are the biggest markets and Regulators in other parts of the world take their lead.
1). The typical duration of Clinical Trials to market is 6 to 10 yrs. Clinical trials are conducted in Phases 1-3 to give drug regulators enough evidence for safety and efficacy of the drug before the regulators approve the drug to be marketed. Remember the molecule is patented as soon as it shows enough promise for the Pharma company but before Clinical Trials, thus the long gestation period.
2). The success rate of a molecule to pass all Clinical Trials and approved as a drug is very low. It runs mostly is single digit percentages and for some Therapeutic Areas like Neuro its still lower
3). The economics are staggering. The cost of getting drug to market could be hundreds of millions of dollars mostly getting close to billion dollars. The smaller companies mitigate the cost and risk by partnering with larger companies which also helps with knowledge base. Examples include Biocon tie-ups with Mylan and BMS, although in Biologics. That also means that they will share the revenue/profits with the partner.
4). There is enough and more litigation in this space where patents are overturned
I think its important to understand the industry dynamics to understand some of these news items regarding patents. The dynamics of a particular Pharma company might be immensely favourable from an economics point of view. That would need quite a bit of analysis tounderstand the monetization value, timing and risk.
Patents might be great news but their economic benefit is not guaranteed.
It isbetter to track the progress of various clinical trials that the Pharma companies are conducting. This has more near term_Potential_benefit especially if it is in later phases of Clinical Trials. You can find the progress on the company’s website.