The terms - Patent and Invention are inter-related with one another. However, these inventions, are not limited to only technological upgradation of machines, but in fact play a vital role in the scientific advancements made in the pharmaceutical field and enable cures to innumerable diseases. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), based in Geneva, have official relations with the United Nations and contribute industry expertise to find solutions that improve the global health.

Recently, WIPO and the IFPMA developed a program along with twenty leading research-based biopharmaceutical companies, called the the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED). The aim of this program is to make it convenient for national and international drug procurement agencies to access patent information. The program is built upon the industry's firm belief that, an efficient patent system should not only work to sustainably incentivize innovation, but also to make information about patented inventions available and accessible to the public in order to inform and educate others, to add to the database of scientific and technological knowledge, and to promote the further advancement and improvement of technology. This database will initially provide information on granted patents for any products on the WHO Essential Medicines List. In addition, a facility for follow on enquiries will also provide a channel for procurement agencies to seek additional clarification regarding the patent status of the products they wish to procure.

The Pat - INFORMED initiative is based on creating a 'Global' version of the US Orange Book. For those unaware of the US Orange Book, it is a database that reflects the drug products, approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provides patent information concerning the listed drugs. The US Orange Book has been in force since 1984.

The implementation of this database will have positive impacts on researchers, patent holders, pharmaceutical agencies and many others working in the profession as it will ease the process of procuring information on patented medicines and also encourage further technological advancements and experiments on such patented medicines.

Compiled by: Adv. Sachi Kapoor | Concept & Edited by: Dr. Mohan Dewan

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