Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Vatican says common good outweighs drug company patents

Drug companies' rights to make a profit and protect patents can conflict with people's right to needed medicines and care, said a Vatican official at a symposium attended by generic pharmaceutical companies.

In a speech on Friday, Bishop Jose Redrado Marchite, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, told symposium participants, "We know that producing medicines is a complicated and costly process" and expensive research and development "are indispensable for fighting old and new pathologies."

Patenting such medicines is part of protecting a drug company's investment in research and development, he said.

However, "the right to (protect) intellectual property - even though it is fair and helps stimulate progress - can in some instances conflict with other fundamental rights such as the right to good health," he said.

Right to profits doesn't surpass common good, Vatican official says (Catholic News Service 10/5/04)

Convivium Appeals for Cooperation in Distribution of Medicines (Zenit 10/5/04)

12 May 2004