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Patenting treatment

Andrew

Senior Member
Messages
2,513
Location
Los Angeles, USA
What is the consequence of a research center patenting an illness treatment? Do other treatment centers have to pay them a royalty every time they treat someone the same way.
 

fla

Senior Member
Messages
234
Location
Montreal, Canada
That's a good question and I hope someone knows the answer. The university in Norway patented the rituximab treatment. I asked my neurologist about this back in early summer when I mentioned rituximab for M.E. to him and he brushed it off saying you can't patent a treatment.
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
From Wikepedia
Rituximab was developed by IDEC Pharmaceuticals (formed in 1986 by Ivor Royston and Howard Birndorf) under the name IDEC-C2B8.[1]
Based on its safety and effectiveness in clinical trials,[2] rituximab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997 to treat B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas resistant to other chemotherapy regimens.[3] Rituximab, in combination with CHOP chemotherapy, is now a standard therapy in the initial treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and many other B-cell lymphomas.[citation needed] In 2010 it was approved by the European Commission for maintenance treatment after initial treatment of follicular lymphoma.[4]
Rituximab is currently co-marketed by Biogen Idec and Genentech in the U.S., by HoffmannLa Roche in Canada and the European Union, and by Chugai Pharmaceuticals and Zenyaku Kogyo in Japan.

How can they patent something that's been around a long time, FDA approved and manufactured by many pharmaceutical companies?
 

kurt

Senior Member
Messages
1,186
Location
USA
There is precedent for patenting a treatment (I've run into this before), sometimes I think this is done to help fund-raise for studies, as is described in the link Andrew posted, there can be profits some day, etc. Other times it may be a defensive move, to make certain no physician will use the procedure or treatment without being competent.

In this case I hope the patent was defensive, and for the benefit of patients, these are oncologists who know the risks and probably don't want to see harm come to ME/CFS patients. So maybe they do want us to wait until they understand this treatment better. If that is the reason, they will eventually license at low fees to physicians properly trained to administer the treatment at some point in the future, when the patent-holders are convinced the treatment is ready for mainstream use.

Another reason for a defensive patent is if you want to be certain nobody else will patent the invention out from under you, in order to squash the innovation or to profiteer. So in that case the innovator will file the patent and eventually grant open licensing, or low-cost licensing, etc. Time will tell us about their motives to patent the treatment.
 

Nielk

Senior Member
Messages
6,970
Kurt,

I really have no knowledge or experience with this. It sounds like you do.
Just logically, this treatment is being performed by oncologists all over the world for patients who have certain type of cancers. The treatment is not different. It's on the receiving end - meaning a new group of patients that it's being tried on. The treatment being the same. I guess I don't understand this legal stuff.