November 5, 2012

St Louis Fed: Patents Hurt Innovation, Productivity and Life

St Louis Fed: Patents hurt innovation and productivity … and Life.

St Louis Fed discusses in detail why patents are harmful for growth and progress. 

It may be more than that. In some cases the patents are directly responsible for life or death of human beings.

The cost of Roche’s PEGASYS and Ribavirin for Hepatitis C patients – about $10,000 – way beyond what Indian patients could afford which gave them only one option.

As a result, the Indian government recently revoked Roche’s Hepatitis C drug patent. Without the patent, generic drugs for Hepatitis C will appear in the market and end up saving the lives of patients.

Another example – Nexavar, a cancer drug, went through similar steps in India. Now generic Nexavar’s are available for about $175/month in India vs $5,500/month charged by Bayer who patented Nexavar.

At $1.6 million, Glybera, a gene therapy drug, is one of the most expensive drugs. It will face similar decisions worldwide.

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