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How a Native American tribe came to own one of the world’s most valuable patents

Allergan, the drugmaker behind Botox, is using an unprecedented tactic to protect its valuable patents – angering lawyers and politicians, and keeping the price of its medicines high.

There has long been a debate about patents and traditional knowledge in developing countries.

Pharmaceutical companies in the West, like Allergan, are often accused of “bio-prospecting”.

Pate 3cThey collect raw samples of traditional medicines and plants, whose healing properties have been known to locals for centuries, and patent modified extracts of the active ingredients.

(Under patent law…

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