The soaring cost of a simple breath

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

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    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:

    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:
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    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. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    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:
  4. appleisking macrumors 6502a

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


    Apr 7, 2003
    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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