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Drug Company disincentives Lorraine

Posted by Jane D on May 25, 2001, at 20:17:05

In reply to Re: It doesn't get any better than this? CAM, posted by Lorraine on May 24, 2001, at 9:35:38

> ... meds ... are an anuity check for the drug companies. I'm not going to go into conspiracy theories on drug companies, but I am wonder what incentives there are for drug companies to work on cures as opposed to annuity checks? I don't think we put the carrots in the right place.

I agree and it's a scary thought. Interesting that prozac weekly comes out just as the original goes off patent. I wonder if they could have released it sooner (just speculation, no facts here). No company that already has a profitable drug has any incentive to develop new ones for the life of their patent. Any market edge they could get from producing a better mousetrap can be obtained more easily by just buying more advertising. Further, if this industry consolidates the way others have, there will be less and less intercompany rivalry to depend on.

I don't know what can be done. Shorten patent life? Extra taxes on drug company profits earmarked to finance independant or government research and development? Tax incentives?

For some reason I find the prospect of being dependant on this industry for the rest of my life very frightening.


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