One comment on “Drugs without Patents

  1. Yes, the FDA grants monopolies in many situations, usually pretty short. One that seems pretty stupid to me is that the first company to file for permission to make a generic gets a duopoly for six months.

    The whole point of orphan drug laws is to unify monopoly and permission in one place. I think that’s probably a good idea in general, or at least for people to talk more about how the two functions interact. A small advantage of the current system is that a ticking patent clock encourages companies to talk to the FDA. If the monopoly period is fixed starting at the date of permission, as is true with orphan drugs, they may spend too much time polishing their application.

    If the FDA were granting monopolies around drugs, it would probably only grant them for the drug itself. In theory other patents could be valuable for innovation, but in practice I think the patents actually issued make things worse.

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