Should we socialize pharmaceutical research?

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So the Federal government gives grants to Universities to support pharmaceutical research. Those universities do around 90% of the pharmaceutical research in our country. When they finish their research, or find new drugs, the patents for those drugs are given away or often sold away at low costs to pharmaceutical companies. Copyright laws guarantee that these companies will have reasonable profits for the next ten years. So these pharmaceutical companies have basically no competition, (I’ll explain in a moment) and they proceed to get obscenely rich off of the common man’s need for prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. By the way, according to the CDC (the government’s health statistics gathering and publishing department), in 2002, 45.1% of Americans were using prescription medications in any single month, that was 6 years ago!

While it is possible to reverse-engineer many drugs, not all of them can be reverse-engineered, and those that can be often end up being produced differently somehow so as to change their effect on people’s bio-chemistry. Thus the generic is sometimes better, but far more often worse than the name-brand drugs. So, in essence these pharmaceutical companies have a monopoly (which in our country is supposed to be illegal, as you’re probably aware). They maintain these ‘monopolies’ easily, because they have the federal government’s support.

I’d like to tell you how it’s in the common man’s best interest to socialize (or semi-socialize) the pharmaceutical industry. It’s also in the government’s best interest to do the same. If those universities then make their research in the pharmaceutical industry public domain, then those monopolies cannot exist very easily anymore. Competition drives the prices down, and then the American public pays less for medications. Insurance rates will eventually react to said changes, and Medicare, and Medicaid (Government funds again) pay out less. 47 million Americans are uninsured, and many of them are on Government health care.

So there you have it.

Objections, qualifications, curiosities please… email me at:


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Filed under Capitalism, Corporatism, Economics, Free Markets, Socialism

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