This past July, the European Commission released estimates that if generic drugs were to enter markets immediately after patents expire—instead of the present average of seven months later—EU patients and national health services might save €3 billion ($4.5 billion) annually. But regulators acknowledge that costly and time-consuming patent disputes, and possible anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry, mean that such savings remain elusive. Continue reading
Dermot Leonard’s first experience with technology transfer was as a mechanical and manufacturing engineering student in 2002. He and his teammates at Queen’s University in Belfast, U.K., won £10,000 in a Northern Ireland Science Park competitionfor their business plan to develop and market a self-powered medical pump. The invention never made it to market, Leonard says: The team took a half-hearted stab at marketing their idea–but then they graduated. They spent the rest of the money paying off student loans.