Tag: intellectual property

Bioethics Blogs

Julia Powles on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

By Nicolas Terry and Frank Pasquale Subscribe to TWIHL here! We talk with legal scholar and journalist Dr. Julia Powles. At Cambridge, Julia was associated with the Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences and Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, and a Research Associate … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

How To Make Sure We All Benefit When Nonprofits Patent Techonologies Like CRISPR

July 19, 2017

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Or when potentially lifesaving inventions are priced so high that access is limited? The public partially underwrites nonprofit discoveries via tax breaks and isn’t seeing a lot of benefit in return.

Questions like these arose recently in the case of CRISPR, the promising new gene-editing technology. After patenting it, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard sold the exclusive right to develop CRISPR-based therapies to its sister company Editas Medicine. Critics worry that this monopoly could limit important research and result in exorbitant prices on emerging treatments.

We’ve seen this situation before: For example, Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug developed and patented by researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles, now costs US$129,000 for a course of treatment.

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Image: Peter Vanderwarker, CC BY

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Toxicologist Aims To Label Ethical Standards

Toxicologist Alan Goldberg knows what an industrial pig nursery should look and smell like. So one with no pigs, no slop, and no aroma was certainly surprising. Goldberg toured such a sanitized—and possibly staged—facility in 2006 while he was part of the 15-member Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, tasked to examine how industry practices impact human health, animal welfare, the environment, and rural communities.

 

The facilities with actual animals in them told a different tale. He recalls one poultry shed in Arkansas that housed 45,000 chickens clustered on a dirt floor that had likely not been cleaned since before the last harvest. Inside, the potent mix of nitrous oxide and ammonia, a byproduct of the chicken feces and urine, made the commissioners’ eyes burn. “The word the Pew Commission used to describe the conditions we saw was ‘inhumane.’ Personally, I would say ‘cruel,’” says Goldberg, a professor of environmental health and engineering at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the founding director of the school’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

 

THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE PROJECT IS TO CREATE A TEMPLATE OF ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY AND BETTER INFORM CONSUMERS ABOUT THEIR CHOICES.

In its 2008 landmark report, the commission condemned the state of industrial production and made sweeping recommendations, including the ban of nontherapeutic anti­biotics, improved management of food animal waste to lessen contamination of waterways, and the phasing out of intensive animal confinement.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Innovation and intellectual property policies in European Research Infrastructure Consortia

I am happy to announce the publication of our new paper on “Innovation and intellectual property policies in European Research Infrastructure Consortia (part I)” in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (Oxford University Press). Taking the European Spallation Source ERIC … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Bold New Policies for The Brave New Biologies: IPRs and Innovation in Synthetic Biology and Gene editing

Research Seminar at the University of Copenhagen debating intellectual property and innovation in synthetic biology, systems biology & gene editing. New technologies in biology offer a brave new world of possibilities. Promising solutions to some of the most urgent challenges faced … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law

The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Health Law is now available.

Part I An Overview of the Legal Governance of Healthcare

  • Relating Health Law to Health Policy: A Frictional Account – William M. Sage
  • The Relationship between Bioethics and U.S. Health Law: Past, Present, and Future – I. Glenn Cohen
  • What Health Reform Reveals about Health Law – Allison K. Hoffman
  • A View from a Friend and Neighbor: A Canadian Perspective on U.S. Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act – Colleen Flood and Bryan Thomas
  • Healthcare Federalism – Abigail R. Moncrieff and Joseph Lawless

Part II Caring and Receiving Care

A. Access to Healthcare

  • Accessing Hospitals and Health Professionals – Eleanor D. Kinney
  • Access to Health Insurance and Health Benefits – Timothy Stoltzfus Jost
  • Legal Battles against Discrimination in Healthcare – Dayna Bowen Matthew

B. Legal Issues in Information Exchange

  • Health Information Law – Frank Pasquale
  • The Promise of Informed Consent – Robin Fretwell Wilson 
  • Communicating Loyalty: Advocacy and Disclosure of Conflicts in Treatment and Research Relationships – Robert Gatter 
  • Medical Privacy and Security – Sharona Hoffman

C. Ethics and Law of Treatments

  • New, Experimental, and Life-Saving Therapies – B. Jessie Hill
  • Mental Health and Other Behavioral Health Services – John V. Jacobi
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Abortion – Judith Daar
  • Conscientious Refusals of Care – Elizabeth Sepper
  • Disability and Health Law – Leslie Francis, Anita Silvers, and Michael Ashley Stein
  • Autonomy and Its Limits in End-of-Life Law – Rebecca Dresser

D. Recourse for Injury

  • Medical Malpractice Liability: Of Modest Expansions and Tightening Standards – Barry R.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

CRISPR Heavyweights Battle in US Patent Court

December 14, 2016

(Nature) – Berkeley and its rival, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are each vying for the intellectual property underlying CRISPR–Cas9, which is adapted from a system that bacteria use to fend off viruses. During the hearing in Alexandria, Virginia, the USPTO judges challenged Berkeley’s central claim: that once its researchers demonstrated that CRISPR–Cas9 could be used to edit DNA in bacteria, any reasonably skilled person could have adapted the technique for use in more complex cells.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Standards, Data Exchange and Intellectual Property Rights in Systems Biology

I am happy to announce that our recent paper on “Standards, Data Exchange and Intellectual Property Rights in Systems Biology” has been provisionally accepted for publication in the Biotechnology Journal.  The paper was co-authored by Esther Van Zimmeren from the University of Antwerp, Berthold … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Digital Immortality of the Future – Or, Advancements in Brain Emulation Research

By Kathy Bui

This post was written as part of a class assignment from students who took a neuroethics course with Dr. Rommelfanger in Paris of Summer 2016.
Kathy Bui is a 4th year undergraduate at Emory University, majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Psychology. She hopes to pursue a PhD in neurobiology after graduation. Her current interests include social justice topics of class disparities and human health rights. 
Introduction: “How do you want to be remembered?” 
The fear of our looming death has haunted us since human life began. It’s not hard to believe that the quest of human immortality has not changed since Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality in 22nd century BC. However, with the technological strides in conjunction with ambitious billionaires, the cure to death may be closer than we think. Life expectancy has been steadily increasing over decades, and yet, Americans seem to look forward to the inevitable prospect of immortality. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 44% of Americans would want to extend their life to age 120 if given the opportunity [1, 2].

An integral part of human life is our biological death. We have sought to create artworks, legends, monuments that would outlive us – to show that we have made a mark on this world. In fact, they have: the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt, the Pantheon in Rome, and the Nanchan Temple in Wutai are only a few examples of the remaining buildings, surviving for centuries beyond their makers.
Interestingly enough, there is something else that has not only survived but is growing and expanding beyond expectation: the internet [3].

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

‘Testing in the East’: an episode in Cold War bioethics

In 2013 the influential German magazine Der Spiegel published an expose about clinical trials conducted by Western drug companies in East Germany during the Cold War. The magazine reported that at least 50,000 people had been test subjects for around 900 studies done by manufacturers that included leading companies from Switzerland, the United States, and West Germany. Fifty hospitals were sites of the research, including the prestigious Charite in East Berlin. The principle motivation for the East Germans was money: they desperately needed hard currency for their failing medical system. For their part the companies appreciated the far greater efficiency of recruitment in the East, and paid the East Germans up to 800,000 West German marks per study.

The agency responsible for setting up these contracts? The notorious Stasi, the East German secret police force that included hundreds of thousands of paid agents and hundreds of thousands of more informants.

Der Spiegel’s series about the drug trials contained language and themes familiar to many landmark bioethics cases. The revelations were described as a scandal that used the oppressed East Germans as human guinea pigs, including deaths and injuries that had not been properly reported, the indiscriminate use of low-birthweight infants and depressed patients, inadequate informed consent, powerful drug companies and physicians largely eager to cooperate in spite of the occasional protest. Complete with interviews with former test subjects and regretful doctors, the study had all the elements of a classical bioethics case study that could take its place along with the U.S. Public Health Service’s Tuskegee syphilis study; the Guatemala sexually transmissible disease experiments; and some of the well-documented human radiation, biological, and chemical warfare experiments in the U.S.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.