Online Pharmacies: What You Need to Know

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Drug Companies and Intellectual Property Rights


Countries have different laws for protecting the intellectual property rights (patents) of drug companies. For example, the United States allows the sponsor of a new drug to have exclusive sales and marketing rights for that product for 20 years. After that time, other companies may manufacture, market, and sell a generic version of that drug. Other countries might only protect the patent of a new drug for 10, 5, or no years at all.


Some foreign pharmacies sell generic versions of drugs that are still under patents in the U.S. and are, therefore, not available for sale in U.S. pharmacies


View the U.S. Food and Drug Administration information on patents.


To find out more about and differing perspectives on intellectual property rights see the following websites: