Intellectual property rights provide incentives for innovative pharmaceutical research, and this research benefits patients by establishing the basis for approval of important new treatments for diseases. By pursuing these incentives, we advance our company’s mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases while fulfilling our corporate obligations.
We will rigorously protect our intellectual property rights, which enable us to conduct important clinical research to develop innovative medicines to treat serious diseases. Pharmaceutical companies invest an average of $1 billion and 15 years to discover, develop and launch a new medicine. Without the enforcement of patents and the protection of intellectual property rights, it would be difficult to achieve a return on our original investment in the patented medicines to continue to discover, develop and provide innovative new medicines to patients.
However, in evaluating what intellectual property rights to seek and how to enforce them, Bristol-Myers Squibb will consider criteria that balance patient and economic needs.
In deciding how to exercise our legitimate intellectual property rights, the company will consider all aspects of our company’s mission and commitment. For example, we are committed to fair dealing and conscientious citizenship. This means that we will seek to obtain intellectual property only by lawful and ethical means, and to enforce only those intellectual property rights that we believe to meet highest criteria. We will place the highest priority on obtaining intellectual property for those innovations that provide the greatest medical benefit to patients. And we stand by our series of initiatives like our patient assistance programs to make Bristol-Myers Squibb medicines available to qualified patients who cannot afford them.