March 06, 2013
Lectures and Panels
2012-2013
Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School

Pharmaceutical researchers pursue medical treatment and diagnostic methods to target diseases specific to certain demographic groups. Such pursuit is often motivated by commercialization through patenting. Are these research innovations a solution to orphan diseases? Or do they foster a culture of niche, designer medicine? 

This lecture, based on the book Identity, Invention, and the Culture of Personalized Medicine Patenting (Cambridge 2012), by Professor Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin Law School, examined these questions through discussion of BiDil, the first drug FDA approved specifically for the African-American population; Myriad's patented diagnostic method for identifying breast cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women; Prometheus' patent for treating Crohn's Disease (invalidated by the Supreme Court in 2012 in an infringement suit by Prometheus against the Mayo Clinic); and other provocative examples at the intersection of patent and health law.

Professor Benjamin Roin, Heiken Assistant Professor in Patent Law at Harvard and Petrie-Flom Center Faculty co-Director, served as discussant.

Watch the lecture here

Tags

benjamin n. roin fda gene patenting genetics health law policy intellectual property judicial opinions pharmaceuticals