Monday, January 30, 2017

NY Times opinion piece labels patent system a "relic of the feudal guild system"

In a piece titled -- End Patent and Copyright Requirements in Nafta --, Dean Baker writes:

Drugs that would be readily available in a free market can be prohibitively expensive because of patent protection. For example, the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi has a list price of $84,000 in the United States. A high-quality generic version is sold in India for less than $200.

While companies need an incentive for innovating, there are far more efficient mechanisms than patent monopolies. It doesn’t make sense for a 21st century economy to be dependent on this relic of the feudal guild system for supporting innovation.

Ending the patent and copyright requirements in Nafta would be a good first step.

Baker does not identify the "far more efficient mechanisms."


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