HomeArticlesFDA gives patent on public domain gout drug


FDA gives patent on public domain gout drug — 2 Comments

  1. Gordon, this article is quite excellent. Actually, both copyright and patent laws need to be revisited and revised. Patenting this drug on the foundation of having discovered that less drug is needed, so that the company is actually selling smaller doses for 10x the price. Amazing.

    This also drove many other producers of the drug out of the market. A small royalty payment from all the companies producing this drug could have reimbursed the company and given them a profit as well, at a much lower cost to the patient, and lesser risks to the producers and marketplace.


    • Yes, the purpose behind these laws is to stimulate invention and, originally, only the invention by individuals–not corporations (that is another discussion related to relative power). The idea is to reward someone for bringing something new to the economy by providing limited protection to the inventor. It was never intended to raise the price of something already on the market, making resources more scarce, and life of individuals more difficult.

      Copyright is a bit different as you don’t actually copyright new ideas contained in texts, only blocks of words. Therefore if you put too high a price on a song or a book its not going to sell as there is plenty of competition among copyrighted items. However, some copyright infringement suits go too far and some clarification might be in order. We might consider putting all internet postings in the public domain.

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