Over the past several weeks, news of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or Coronavirus) has dominated our newsfeeds, which at the time of writing has three confirmed cases in Ontario, two of which are in Toronto. The virus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and in order to control the outbreak, China has responded with an aggressive strategy and taken the extraordinary step of confining residents in the city of Wuhan (the epicentre of the outbreak) to their homes.
As of February 1, 2020, U-Haul no longer hires nicotine users in 21 of the US states in which it operates. The company, which employs over 30,000 people across the US and Canada, announced this new policy late last year. While it may be easy to understand U-Haul’s stated rationale for introducing this anti-tobacco policy, to adopt the same in Ontario would likely expose the company to liability.
When patents expire on a patented drug product, paving the way for generic competition, the patentee is faced with the challenge of how to replace the revenues that were achieved with the patented product. Ideally, the company’s innovation during the patented product’s life cycle will have led to new products poised to grow as the old patented product’s revenues decline. Often, however, the company’s strategy is to pursue a “product switch,” in which the patented product is replaced with a new product that provides little or no therapeutic improvement but for which no generic competition is imminent.