Posted: May 24, 2010 6:45 pm
by generalsemanticist
Moridin wrote:

If the discovery of new forms of medicine was not driven by profits, some important forms of medications might not have been developed. The thirst for profit need not always corrupt the value of medicine in itself. Sometimes it may even complement it.

So you are agreeing that "thirst for profit" corrupts medicine to some extent?

Worse, the current system becomes complicated as drug companies file patent upon patent to try to extend the life of a single drug--turning to litigation to try to stifle generics. Big pharma's biggest loophole: When a generic drug is challenged in court, the FDA is forced by law to freeze its approval for 30 months unless the case is settled before that. As a result, generic companies are constantly suing to invalidate extra patents and brand name drugmakers sue to keep generic versions off the market.

Such patent shenanigans slow medical innovation. The knowledge that current drugs will go off patent should in theory help spur big pharmaceutical companies to license or develop new and better drugs. In theory, we pay more for branded drugs to finance the massive research needed to develop them. But long battles over dozens of patents can simply distract pharmaceutical companies from their job: making new medicines.


Interesting how he characterizes "the job" of pharmaceutical companies as making new medicines. This is exactly right, however, it is the job of doctors to heal people - not act as drug peddlers for pharmaceutical companies, which is what they appear to be doing in most cases now. Doctors can even lose their licence by using treatments not prescribed by their professional organizations.