Arnold Kling

Evil Drug Companies

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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They have been trying to discover a treatment for AIDS, but activists intend to thwart their evil plans. In Patent Nonsense, Roger Bate and Richard Tren write

When drug companies develop a new cancer treatment, they are lauded as heroes, but when they devote millions to HIV research, they are accused by activists of having “blood on their hands.” ...

It is time that governments and activists do more to encourage new drug development. There’s one sure way to do that. Assure the drug companies that their colossal investment and intellectual property rights will be protected.

I can come with alternatives to the patent system to reward drug research. For example, the government could award large prizes for drugs that come into widespread use. But until an alternative is in place, the attacks on drug company patents by AIDS activists only serve to reduce AIDS research.

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