Sunday, August 10, 2008

Has drug research been funded by private charitable donations?

IPBiz noted the following on slashdot:

I do understand the "need" to patent medicines, but I truly believe even that is useless. Research and development for medicines does not need to be publicly funded or protected by patents. Instead, research can continue the way it always has: fund raisers, private charitable donations, and other ways to get the money needed to develop new medicines. What is the biggest reason medicine costs hundreds of millions to develop? The FDA and other organizations which restrict the market due to government intervention. No different from why copyright is a failure and harms the copyrighter more than it helps them.

YouTube cartoonists will trump Disney eventually. Online music distribution has already destroyed the record stores. Free PDF newsletters, blogs and other web products are killing the newspaper industry and periodical industry. Free product = marketing yourself for being hired to do new work. It's a good thing.

Hmmm, how many people believe research has always been supported by fund raisers and private charitable donations?

Look at CIRM and Proposition 71: the private companies want taxpayer dollars AND patent rights! That's closer to the way things are. Then, there's the (proposed) CIRM loan program:

"The goal of a loan program is to fund the translation of research into research tools, medical diagnostics and devices, and therapeutic products. These loans will be targeted at the funding gaps in product development that will serve to leverage participation by follow-on investors, such as venture capital and other capital markets, and result in more products that enter the market."


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