Chicago Journal of International Law


Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2000, we are already seeing changes in health care. As we better understand the genetic basis of disease, we are able to target therapies to these root causes of disease. This paper will consider how two nascent areas of genetic medicine, pharmacogenetics and biologics, interact with international intellectual property ("IP") law. Neither of these areas fits comfortably in the traditional intellectual property model we use for pharmaceuticals. Due to their growing importance, however, the implications for international law concerning these advances are great. The first section of the paper will give a background on what biologics and pharmacogenetics are. Section II will examine regulatory protections given to pharmaceuticals both nationally and abroad. Section III will consider what patent protections have been awarded to pharmaceuticals in the US and internationally. Section IV concludes.