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3D Printing – A Brave New World For Pharma And Patents

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

In the same way that railways and fast broadband access changed the rules on where businesses could operate from, so too will 3D printing change the manufacturing and distribution of tomorrow. It presents enormous opportunity for small and medium businesses and perhaps a chance for manufacturing to return on a larger scale in the most developed economies. The accessibility of 3D printing promises to empower both businesses and individuals to create products which under traditional manufacturing processes would have been prohibitive both in terms of cost and logistics. For businesses of all sizes, the potential to decentralize production holds exciting opportunities. With the first regulatory approval of a 3D printed prescription drug, a world of opportunity presents itself for innovative pharmaceutical companies. However, capitalizing on 3D printing technology whilst retaining control over intellectual property rights (IPRs) will be challenging and require a rethink of traditional approaches both to patent drafting and licensing.

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