Analyzing the efficacy of the pharmaceutical patent system
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this thesis is to provide insight into the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry and the subsequent role that patent protection influences both consumer markets and business operations. The methods used are a combination of detailed market research, case studies and a comprehensive analysis of fifteen industry leaders. The sector is heavily reliant on exceedingly high research and development expenditures which exemplifies the incessant need for an adequate patent system. The market is dominated by few, large multinational corporations and their patented brand name drugs. The results show that the current environment has led to several imbalances in the global pharmaceutical market. The predominant issues in the industry are limited access to affordable drugs, monopolistic market power created by extensive exclusivity periods, and skewed incentives that impact firm decision-making. The current system does not address traditional market forces that are inherent to private firms and subsequently influence research investments focused on Western markets. This has important implications on both developing nations and overall global health standards.