New Pills for Poor People? Empirical Evidence after GATT

Jean Lanjouw and Iain Cockburn


The protection of pharmaceutical innovations is being dramatically extended as much of the developing world introduces patent protection for new drug products. This change in intellectual property rights may lead to more research on drugs to address developing country needs. We use new survey data from India, the results of interviews, and measures of research and development (R&D) constructed from a variety of statistical sources to determine trends in the allocation of research to products specific to developing country markets. There is some, although limited, evidence of an increase in the mid- to late 1980s which appears to have leveled off in the 1990s.The picture presented provides a "baseline" against which future patterns in research activity can be compared.