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Silicon Valley Plans to Bring Digital Health to Seniors

Happy Older Couple in Beach ChairsDigital health apps and wearable devices generally attract a niche market of young, healthy individuals and fitness enthusiasts. However, this may shift in 2014 as startup companies are shifting their digital health funding to focus on seniors.

A report sponsored by Startup Health and AARP found digital health startups are targeting the aging population. Digital health funding for seniors more than doubled at $928 million by the end of 2013, compared to $413 million at 2010.

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India’s Weak Patent Rights Hurt U.S. Pharma Companies

8685678According to the Global Intellectual Property Center’s IP index, India’s intellectual property environment ranks the lowest of all countries included in the index. India is in constant violation of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, designed to ensure strong intellectual property rights on patents and copyrights in international trade. One example is their overuse of compulsory licenses, the practice of allowing India’s domestic drug companies to produce patented products without the consent of the companies that own the patents. These licenses were initially only to be used during public health emergencies under the TRIPS agreement.

Meanwhile, Indian pharmaceutical companies greatly profit on American soil. For example, Lupin Ltd. is now the market leader in 24 of the 46 products marketed in the U.S. generic drug market.  Sun Pharmaceuticals, based in Mumbai, have over 57% of sales from markets outside India, primarily in the Unites States. They market over 200 generics in the U.S., with another 150 awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.