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Re: The patent process

From: Christopher Browne
Subject: Re: The patent process
Date: 11 May 2004 21:55:10 GMT

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, "Barry Pearson" 
<> wrote:
> Barry Margolin wrote:
> [snip]
>> The "magic" mostly occurs in industries where there's a significant
>> investment required during the invention process.  If the inventor
>> doesn't have a reasonable hope of being able to recoup that
>> investment, he may give up on the development, and the same decision
>> is likely to be made by all the competing inventors.  The end result
>> would be that no one invents it, and society is poorer as a result.
> [snip]
> I think the pharmaceutical industry is the classic case. They spend
> gob-smacking amounts on trying to make the next life-saving drug. The vast
> majority of attempts fail in trials. The cost of satisfying government
> agencies is huge. And, by the time they have got through the process, there
> are only a few years left on the patent, in which to try to get their money
> back! Then it becomes "generic", and everyone can make & sell it.
> Change a few details about patent law, and they would make more money if they
> just stuck what they had in a bank, fired all their researchers, and just
> claimed the interest! (And let people die).

There is also a "product churn" problem here...

People might very well be better off if the pharmaceutical industry
_did_ stop doing that work, fired their researchers, and such.

This would be better if it resulted in drugs being marketed based on
actual efficacity, as opposed to them being pushed due to there being
a few years left to run on the patent.

What appears to be happening in the marketplace is that older drugs
are pooh-poohed based on the fact that it is more profitable to market
the still-in-the-patent-money newer ones.

We might be better off, overall, if money was being spent on the
"mature" drugs, that cost less, and that are better understood, as
opposed to money getting thrust at the expensive new ones.
If this was helpful, <> rate me

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