Monday, October 31, 2005

Boston Globe reprints van Gelder story on Tamiflu

The Boston Globe reprinted the story by Alec van Gelder on the avian flu/Tamiflu, complete with all the mistakes of the first version. No learning curve at the Boston Globe.

For example,

That medicine, Tamiflu, was developed by the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche, which owns the patent.

Actually, the drug was developed by Gilead, who owns the patent.


The PromoteTheProgress blog praised the Boston Globe [van Gelder] article without noting the errors or the fact that it was a reprint.

Buchanan highlighted the text:

"But the most important role for government is to uphold private property rights and ensure that the rule of law applies -- which means protecting rather than breaking patents. The alternative -- the rule of the mob -- would truly be devastating."

The "rule of the mob", at least in the U.S., would be the government taking the patented product and the patentee suing the government in the Court of Claims.

One notes that in the case of CIPRO, the government jaw-boned Bayer for a lower price than Bayer wanted, without ever reaching the rule of the mob.

In the old days, the government created a patent pool of aviation patents, which adversely affected the Wright Brothers; forced Marconi out of the U.S., and forced Bell Labs to license (which it was already doing with the transistor patents, having seen the writing on the wall.)

Sorry, but the (reprinted) Boston Globe op-ed is not "most coherent and well-structured argument" that has been presented, and, no, Roche does not own the patent in question.


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