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Who really benefits from patents on medicines?

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posted on May, 20 2011 @ 11:21 PM
On 19 May NPR ran a story about two very major drugs that are going to "go generic" this year and next year. Their patents will expire.

A reporter said on the air (not in the article) that this would cause a 90% price drop for these drugs. The story was all about how great this would be for the generic drug manufacturers.

For some reason they completely missed the most obvious implication of this news. If manufacturers of generic drugs can stay in business selling their products for about a tenth of what they were priced at when they were being manufactured under patent, why do the companies who patented these drugs charge so much for them? Apparently patents are being used to fleece people who must pay for these drugs.

While looking into this I found a quote by Jonas Salk who invented the polio vaccine.

Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?

CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955); quoted in Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine (2001) by Jon Cohen

I include the link to the source page. Salk said a lot of other interesting things, too.

For things like medicines, which can be life-or-death discoveries, doesn't Salk's approach make more sense?

edit on 20-5-2011 by l_e_cox because: tried to get comma out of title

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 11:28 PM
I agree with Salk completely. There should be no patents at all allowed for medicine or anything medical related.

Only reason there are patents is for profit yet they will say R&D.

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 11:30 PM
Just like most material possessions, you're paying for the name on the bottle, not the content of it.

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 11:36 PM
Very interesting. Good find op! Its nice to know that patients wont need to buy into this monopoly anymore >

posted on May, 20 2011 @ 11:56 PM

Who really benefits from patents on medicines?

Only those whose pockets are much deeper than their sense of logic and ethics.

Didn't we learn this way back at the "Reapher Madness" campaign?

They can't make "enough" money off of things that we can't patent... we let people die and go broke over pathetic "diseases".

We call this capitalism.

It's a great system, trust me, "the flag, troops, forefathers, best country in the world" all told me so.
edit on 20-5-2011 by TheOrangeBrood because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 21 2011 @ 12:59 AM
reply to post by l_e_cox

It takes millions

Upon millions

Upon millions to produce a drug, get it certified, used for treatment of diseases.

It is an extremely long process, and very costly. And sometimes investments are made that never see any return on profit.

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