Patently-O Bits and Bytes by Juvan Bonni

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    If you read the Joe Nocera piece, it is an interview with Robin Feldman. As it happens, Dr. Feldman recently made an appearance on Russ Roberts’ Econtalk podcast. Her talk with Roberts and her interview with Nocera are largely the same.

    Having both read the Nocera interview, and listened to the Roberts podcast, I do not really disagree with Dr. Feldman about the problematic nature of the price growth of certain pharmaceuticals (especially generic pharmaceuticals). I do question, however, her proposed solutions that go after patents in the pharma industry. By her own admission, prices are also going up faster than inflation with regard to certain long-since-off-patent drugs like insulin. This should tell you that the problem here is not really caused by patents.

    Rather, the holdup is in FDA law. If she really wants to solve the problem, she would do better to suggest changes to FDA law than to patent law.

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