2016: Ken Shadlen

Ken Shadlen

Ken Shadlen
Developing Countries in the Globalization of Pharmaceutical Patenting

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Albert M. Bender Room, Bing Wing
Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University

Historically most developing countries did not allow patents on pharmaceutical products. Fearing that the costs of having private rights of exclusion over these sorts of inventions would outweigh the benefits, most countries prohibited pharmaceutical patenting. In the closing decades of the 20th Century, however, the global politics of intellectual property underwent a fundamental shift, as new international trade rules made it obligatory for all countries to begin granting pharmaceutical patents. The globalization of pharmaceutical patenting has generated both hope, that increasing the geographic scope of patent protection would yield expanded biomedical innovation, and fear, that increasing the geographic scope of patent protection would put public health budgets under stress and leave many without access to essential medicines. Shadlen analyzes the globalization of pharmaceutical patenting, examining the rise of pharmaceutical patenting, the diversity of national responses to the new global shift, and emerging issues on the horizon.

Ken Shadlen is Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics (LSE). A political scientist by training, since the early 2000s Shadlen has been researching the global and cross-national politics of intellectual property -- how actors with conflicting goals seek to shape rules over the control and use of knowledge and information, and how these conflicts are resolved. His work considers the implications that new global rules on intellectual property present for late development, and the various ways that these international norms and rules are adopted at the national level and affect national practices. He has published a series of articles on these topics, along with two edited volumes (Intellectual Property, Pharmaceuticals and Public Health [2011] and The Politics of Intellectual Property [2009]), and is currently completing a book that analyzes the politics of pharmaceutical patenting in Latin America from the 1980s to the present.

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