[ExI] Problem with Pattents
korpios at korpios.com
Mon Feb 25 20:44:35 UTC 2008
On 2/25/08, Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 5:11 PM, Tom Tobin <korpios at korpios.com> wrote:
> > First off, the inventor should consider themselves lucky that they are
> > receiving a patent *at all*.
> Just to play the devil's advocate, take the pharma patent. They last
> the usual 20 years. Yet, the single molecule that arrives on the
> market, with a more or less wide target, has a commercial life of
> little more than 10. Moreover, it has to pay in the same period the
> R&D efforts related to some twenty other molecules that did not go
> anywhere, or that were never authorised for human consumption. The
> imitator has just trivial manufacturing costs plus its margins, and
> can sell generics at less than half the total cost per unit of the
> developer of a new drug.
> Who ever would be in a position to get the financing necessary to new
> drug development with shorter patents, or no patents at all? The
> current regime is already heavily in favour of multinationals so large
> and with pocket so deep that can afford a few failures without going
> bankrupt by working on very high volumes.
I think we're looking at the situation the wrong way. Instead of "How
can pharma companies recoup their R&D costs?", I'd like to ask "Is
there a better way to enrich the public good regarding medicine?"
Between the questionable efficacy of many medical products and a
laborious FDA approval process, I don't think the current system is a
net gain; I'd rather see slower (and, hopefully, steadier) progress
(with a combination of public financing, cheap generics, and looser
regulations during a "prototype" testing period). I'd also like to
see *far* more emphasis placed on prevention rather than treatment;
prevention is both cheaper *and* more effective. A healthy diet and
exercise regimen alone is worth more than the fruit of decades of
research into new drugs.
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