Working Papers

Global Drug Diffusion and Innovation with the Medicines Patent Pool

Lucy Xiaolu Wang

This paper studies the impact of the first joint licensing platform for patented drugs, the Medicines Patent Pool, on global drug diffusion and innovation. The pool allows generic firms worldwide to license drug bundles cheaply and conveniently for sales in a set of developing countries. I construct a novel dataset from licensing contracts, public procurement, clinical trials, and drug approvals. Using difference-in-differences methods, I find that the pool leads to substantial increases in the generic supply of drugs purchased, particularly in countries with stronger patent protection. In addition, there are some positive increases in clinical trials and drug product approvals after a compound enters the pool, mostly by firms outside the pool.

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Paper Keywords

drug cocktails, innovation and diffusion, patent pool, developing countries