The soaring cost of a simple breath

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #1
    Interesting article in the NYT Magazine about the increasing cost of asthma (and other) medications. I have seen the edges of this in another context, but, did not realize until now one of the sources of the problem:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/the-soaring-cost-of-a-simple-breath.html?src=me&ref=general

    How common is repatenting, and, how widespread is the legal ability to do this? There isn't as much information on the web about this as is often the case these days although occasionally articles do surface:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/01/novartis-drug-case-india_n_2990434.html
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #2
    The patent system was originally about people. A person creates something, patents it, and has 20 years to bring it to market and sell it with exclusive control on production and distribution. It was thought that this was enough time for the inventor to establish a living, before allowing competitors to join the fray. They could then retire with the public domain continuing production in their place.

    Over time, people created businesses and those companies took on a life of their own. But for a business, 20 years is just getting started. So companies began lobbying Congress to extend and renew these exclusive protections. $10M a year in lobbying expenses is vastly cheaper than developing and getting approval for a new drug, and thanks to these efforts - can now have the same payoff.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    lannister80

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #3
    Yup, my wife is very asthmatic/has poorly controlled asthma. Luckily, one brand of albuterol inhaler (Ventolin) is FINALLY covered at a copay of $10 each by our insurance, as of the last 6 months or so.

    But for many years, we were paying $60/inhaler WITH good insurance for any kind of albuterol inhaler.

    It was reparented because they replaced the propellant with a non-CFC propellant, due to CFCs being illegal. That change in a totally inactive ingredient allowed them to repatent all their formulations. *******s.

    See Evergreening: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreening
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    #4
    Why we need single-payer as well as a bit of trust-busting for our lovely pharmaceutical companies.
     
  5. Ugg
    macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #5
    Big Pharma has gotten out of control. Medicare Part D was nothing but a handout to them as it forbids the US from bargaining with them which has to be the most , well at least one of the most idiotic things bush co ever did.
     

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