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Fortune and Hindsight: Gene Patents’ Muted Effect on Medical Practice

Sherkow, Jacob S. and Abbott, Ryan (2018) Fortune and Hindsight: Gene Patents’ Muted Effect on Medical Practice British Medical Bulletin, 126 (1). pp. 37-45.

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Introduction: Physicians have long worried about gene patents’ potential to restrict their medical practices. Fortune and hindsight have proven these worries exaggerated both in the U.K. and elsewhere. Neither current nor future medical practices appear to be impinged by gene patents, although they may be subject to future intellectual property disputes.

Sources of Data: Qualitative and quantitative (survey) studies of gene patents’ effects on medical practice; recent developments in patent law.

Areas of Agreement: Traditional gene patents do not appear to have restricted medical practice in the U.K., although their effect elsewhere has been more nuanced.

Areas of Controversy: Whether patents will restrict the spread of newer medical technologies is unresolved.

Areas Timely for Developing Research: Continuing survey data on practitioners’ views concerning patents’ role in the distribution of newer technologies would be beneficial.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
Sherkow, Jacob S.
Date : 28 March 2018
DOI : 10.1093/bmb/ldy009
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (
Uncontrolled Keywords : Patents; Genetics; Medicine; Policy; Law
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 22 Feb 2018 14:12
Last Modified : 22 Feb 2019 02:08

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