12 de març 2014

Against patents, again

Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover Of Life Itself – And The Consequences For Your Health And Our Medical Future

I've just finished reading a book on patents in life sciences. As you know from previous posts , I'm convinced that there is an enormous welfare loss from current patent system. If you have the opportunity to read this book, you'll finally will arrive at the same conclusion. Although it was written before the Supreme Court ruling over the Myriad case, the message is still the same: patents contrain innovation and are extremely costly to the society. The case of Hepatitis C is explained in detail. Until some patents were exhausted there was no possibility to start research. Without such patents, new succesful and (costly) treatments have arisen (and afterwards have been patented again).
An interesting interview in Forbes magazine highlights the key issues of the book. Unfortunately times go by and alternatives to patents are not taking off.