La patentemente sabia decisión de la India

NUEVA YORK – La negativa del Tribunal Supremo de la India en cuanto a ratificar la patente de Gleevec, el exitoso medicamento contra el cáncer desarrollado por Novartis, la gigante empresa farmacéutica suiza, es una buena noticia para muchos de aquellos que viven en la India y sufren de cáncer. Si otros países en desarrollo siguen el ejemplo de la India, esta también será una buena noticia en otros lugares: se podrá destinar más dinero a otras necesidades, ya sea a la lucha contra el SIDA, a proporcionar educación, o a llevar a cabo inversiones que permitan el crecimiento y reduzcan la pobreza.

Pero la decisión de la India también significa menos dinero para las grandes empresas farmacéuticas multinacionales. Como era de esperar, esto ha llevado a una respuesta sobreexcitada de dichas empresas y de sus grupos de presión: la sentencia, ellos alegan, destruye el incentivo para innovar, por lo que se constituirá en un golpe serio contra la salud pública a nivel mundial.

Estas afirmaciones son ferozmente exageradas. En términos económicos y de políticas sociales, la decisión del Tribunal de la India tiene mucho sentido. Además, es sólo un esfuerzo localizado para reequilibrar un régimen mundial sobre la propiedad intelectual (PI) que se inclina fuertemente hacia el lado de los intereses farmacéuticos, a expensas del bienestar social. De hecho, existe un creciente consenso entre los economistas sobre que el régimen de propiedad intelectual vigente en realidad reprime la innovación.

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