Consider Intellectual property in developing countries
Shionogi considers the value and affordability of a medicine carefully and tailors the pricing strategy for each product to the dynamics of the country and healthcare system.
Intellectual Property and Access to Healthcare
Intellectual property is an extremely important business asset for pharmaceutical companies. Under Shionogi’s intellectual property strategy, we protect various innovations, such as drug compounds, applications, crystalline forms, manufacturing methods, formulations, drug discovery targets and basic research technologies. As part of drug in-licensing and out-licensing activities, we conduct due diligence with respect to intellectual property and take every possible step to prevent Shionogi’s business activities from infringing a third party’s intellectual property. We also carry out brand design activities aimed at building trust in the Shionogi brand and preventing counterfeiting. Shionogi works to protect its intellectual property, employing all legal means necessary if Shionogi’s intellectual property appears to have been infringed.
Shionogi does not consider that the system of intellectual property rights is in itself a barrier to drug access, but we are aware that in certain situations a degree of flexibility is required. In view of this, until the issue of drug access is resolved, we will refrain from applying for and enforcing patents in developing countries facing economic challenges that are classified as LDCs (Least Developed Countries) or LICs (Low Income Countries).
Meanwhile, developing countries account for more than 40% of the total global supply volume of the anti-HIV agent Tivicay (dolutegravir), which is licensed to ViiV Healthcare, and its combination drugs Triumeq and Juluca. Registering dolutegravir in the Medicines Patent Pool has allowed generic manufacturers to manufacture dolutegravir, either as a single-ingredient formulation or combined with other anti-HIV agents, and distribute it to more than 130 low-income and lower middle-income countries. As one of the patent holders of dolutegravir, Shionogi contributes to this initiative.