Poll: Is it ok?
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View poll results: Is it ok?
Yes, patenting drugs should be allowed
54 45%
No.
66 55%
Voters: 120.
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#1
Do you think it's morally right for drug companies to patent drugs?

Ok so let's say some pharmaceutical company develope a cure for the common cold. Do you think it's morally ok for them to patent the cure. It means that only that company can sell the cure, but wil have the biggest competitive advantage.

Or

Should the company not be allowed to patent it, and have to share it with other pharmaceutical companies in order to cure more illnesses.

I'm really stuck on this issue and Yes, I came to the pit for advice. So yeah.... Should they be allowed? and If so, why or why not?
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#2
If they have patented it, they have to accept the responsibility of supplying it all over the world, an impressive feat. I gotta say "No patenting", but as long as the guys who developed the cure get a generous cut from each sale

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#3
It probably isn't morally right, but what can you do? You spend your entire life researching into it, putting time and effort, then some **** comes and nicks your product? As long as it's not ridiculously overpriced, and it was the ONLY drug available for a certain cause, then fair dos. Humanity sucks, unless you hadn't realised by the way.
#5
they shouldnt be allowed imo, that one company will not be able to produce enough for the whole world. The more companys they share it with the more people will get treated.

EDIT: I think we need a poll
#6
simple fact is that if drug companies couldnt patent, they wouldnt make any money, sad but true, so at least we get the benefits of the research in some years instead of no research at all
#7
well in the US we have sort of a compromise, you can patent it, but the patent only lasts a few years. Honestly the way the system is now I think that's best because if the companies can't make money off of patented drugs then they won't invest much in research. I do think however that the government should be able to suspend the patents in emergency situations.

Morally, I'm sort of on the fence.
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#9
Morals are subjective. Do I think it is immoral to make tons of money off an invention that happens to cure a disease? Nope.
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#10
The idea behind patents is that they spend millions on development, and they should be rewarded for it. It's like a copyright for art. Since the producer doesn't get any money on a day-to-day basis like a 9-5 worker does, they need the big payload at the end of the line.

That being said, there are limits. It's okay to get a profit out of it (you wouldn't go to school for 8 years if you didn't think you were going to make money in the end,) but I think there is a moral responsibility to help others too.
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#11
you cant patent something and have other companies pay royalties to you, seeing as it cannot be a monopoly, that is illegal in the US
#12
I beleive there is a cure for the common cold, but they will not let it out since there is so much business in the cold remedy field.

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#13
In short, yes.

Patents are the stimulant for development in industry; especially as regards pharmaceuticals.
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#15
morally i dont think so, so i voted no

morals aside, im not sure id say the same answer
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#16
Look at it from their point of view: They spend millions researching it, shouldn't they be allowed to make the money back and be rewarded for their work?
#17
Quote by hoootlilboy
you cant patent something and have other companies pay royalties to you, seeing as it cannot be a monopoly, that is illegal in the US


It doesn't work that way with pharmaceuticals, when a company patents a drug they sell it under a brand name, then after a couple of years bioequivelant generics are released, it's actually kind of complicated how that works.
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#18
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
It doesn't work that way with pharmaceuticals, when a company patents a drug they sell it under a brand name, then after a couple of years bioequivelant generics are released, it's actually kind of complicated how that works.


It isn't, really.

However, classes of DNA and Genome patents are much more difficult.
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#20
I think a limited patent, which is what we have now, works in that it provides an incentive for companies to actually come up with these things, but after a couple years everyone benefits. Another alternative would be a financial bonus to any corporation that invents a new drug.
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#21
Should the company not be allowed to patent it, and have to share it with other pharmaceutical companies in order to cure more illnesses.


Then why exactly would they create a new drug in the first place?
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#22
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
well in the US we have sort of a compromise, you can patent it, but the patent only lasts a few years. Honestly the way the system is now I think that's best because if the companies can't make money off of patented drugs then they won't invest much in research. I do think however that the government should be able to suspend the patents in emergency situations.

Morally, I'm sort of on the fence.


No, the US isn't special. Every country has a time limit on patents.

Governments can do whatever the hell they want if the situation is dire enough.
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#23
morally right? maybe not.

but they invented it, so they can do whatever they want with it.

i think patents on stuff like that should only last 5-10 years, then they can no longer exclusively make it. i think it might be that way now, but im not sure.
#24
Yes it is completely fair and morally just. People deserve the right to patent their own intellectual property. These patents don't last forever you know.. In fact, I think it would be morally wrong if patents didn't exist on drugs.
#25
Quote by daytripper75
morally right? maybe not.

but they invented it, so they can do whatever they want with it.

i think patents on stuff like that should only last 5-10 years, then they can no longer exclusively make it. i think it might be that way now, but im not sure.

They do. I think they last 2 years but I may be wrong.
#26
Quote by suffer some
No, the US isn't special. Every country has a time limit on patents.

Governments can do whatever the hell they want if the situation is dire enough.


I never said other countries didn't, I was just referring to the US since thats what I know the most about.

Don't be a condescending ass when you apparently don't understand what I said.
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#27
Do you guys know the time money and effort that goes into drug development?

I'll admit it, I worked for GlaxoSmithKline for a year as part of my Masters and I got the REAL story about drug development.

Each and every drug that hits the market costs literally MILLIONS in R&D and usually over a decade of scientific research from target identification to compound screening and finally clinical trials.

Pharma companies produces literally hundreds of potential drugs yearly that for some reason or another are dropped, usually because they prove toxic to humans or have little/no activity against the target they were designed for.

So if drug companies can't patent drugs and attempt to recoup the money from the development of that drug plus the HUNDREDS that failed, why would they bother?

The government can't stump up the cash for drug R&D and there sure as hell ain't enough charity to fund it.

CANCER research struggles to fund its research.
#28
I think patenting drugs which can save millions of lives is very wrong. If so many lives are being saved, I think the goal should be saving lives, not profiting. Maybe I'm being idealistic. For example: After the First World War, British chemists developed penicillin, this was the first antibiotic which was able to advance medicine hugely, and it did. When the Second World War rolled around, demand for penicillin was obviously in great demand. Churchill decided not to patent it, he saw that saving millions of lives, by allowing anyone to make the pills, was the best answer; instead of vastly limiting the ability to save lives by profiting. Guess what happened next, America patented it. That means a British invention, pills being produced all over the world, saving millions of lives all enormously paid America. I thought that was awful, another example of America's backstabbing of Britain.
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#29
I think patenting drugs which can save millions of lives is very wrong. If so many lives are being saved, I think the goal should be saving lives, not profiting.


No one is going to be saving any lives if it isn't profitable to do so. Removing the ability to patent a drug destroys any incentive to actually create it.
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#31
Quote by freedoms_stain
Do you guys know the time money and effort that goes into drug development?

I'll admit it, I worked for GlaxoSmithKline for a year as part of my Masters and I got the REAL story about drug development.

Each and every drug that hits the market costs literally MILLIONS in R&D and usually over a decade of scientific research from target identification to compound screening and finally clinical trials.

Pharma companies produces literally hundreds of potential drugs yearly that for some reason or another are dropped, usually because they prove toxic to humans or have little/no activity against the target they were designed for.

So if drug companies can't patent drugs and attempt to recoup the money from the development of that drug plus the HUNDREDS that failed, why would they bother?

The government can't stump up the cash for drug R&D and there sure as hell ain't enough charity to fund it.

CANCER research struggles to fund its research.


hey Freedom I'm doing some research on GSK so that's really useful =] Thanks mate =]
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#32
Quote by freddaahh
I think patenting drugs which can save millions of lives is very wrong. If so many lives are being saved, I think the goal should be saving lives, not profiting. Maybe I'm being idealistic. For example: After the First World War, British chemists developed penicillin, this was the first antibiotic which was able to advance medicine hugely, and it did. When the Second World War rolled around, demand for penicillin was obviously in great demand. Churchill decided not to patent it, he saw that saving millions of lives, by allowing anyone to make the pills, was the best answer; instead of vastly limiting the ability to save lives by profiting. Guess what happened next, America patented it. That means a British invention, pills being produced all over the world, saving millions of lives all enormously paid America. I thought that was awful, another example of America's backstabbing of Britain.

And who pays for drug discovery if theres no money to be made from it? This is capatalism.

Penicillin is now completely ineffective anyway. Practically every bacterium on the planet is now resistant.
#33
Quote by Vornik
I think a limited patent, which is what we have now, works in that it provides an incentive for companies to actually come up with these things, but after a couple years everyone benefits. Another alternative would be a financial bonus to any corporation that invents a new drug.

+1

It's the best of both worlds and the most realistic answer.


Of course it's unfortunate if one happens to have a disease which it is not profitable to cure.
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#34
Quote by cagnius
In short, yes.

Patents are the stimulant for development in industry; especially as regards pharmaceuticals.


Exactly, if they weren't able to patent their medication they would lose their motivation (profit) and they wouldn't bother finding the cures in the first place.

And just because they save lives doesn't make medications any different from any other products, their primary purpose is to make money for the company that makes them.
#35
Quote by Ur all $h1t
+1

It's the best of both worlds and the most realistic answer.


Of course it's unfortunate if one happens to have a disease which it is not profitable to cure.

Limited patents are already a reality.

It's why you can go buy 100 aspirin for 35p out of Co-op.
#36
It's necessary.

Put yourself in the shoes of a biochemist. You've spent 7 years in school, you now work for a pharmaceutical firm and you discover a cure for migraine headaches.

Well, if drugs couldn't be patented, then anybody with a couple of beakers and the correct ingredients could synthesize your drug, and suddenly you wouldn't make any money for your discovery.

So the question becomes: why go to school for seven years, work endless hours in a lab for nothing?

Yes it benefits humanity, but wouldn't you probably go into a more lucrative field?

Providing the patent draws good minds into the field so that new drugs will be synthesized, properly tested and so on.

It also lays the groundwork for responsibility. Say the drug turns out to cause heart attacks. If everyone could make it then it would be very hard to get rid of, and you wouldn't be able to hold anyone responsible for not doing the right testing. There'd be no accountability.

Yes, the pharmaceuticals industry is unfortunately greedy, but the fact is that hundreds if not thousands of new drugs go on the market each year.

15 years ago being on blood pressure medicine meant you couldn't have a bonor. That means no more sex for you!

I have a friend who is on heart meds, he's 35.

35, no sex! Think of it.

Now we have Viagra. That's what it's for.
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#37
Quote by freedoms_stain
Limited patents are already a reality.

It's why you can go buy 100 aspirin for 35p out of Co-op.

I know, that's what I'm saying.

It does suck for a little while though before the patent wares of. Like when I had hay-fever and I used to have to buy that expensive drug but now that the patent is gone I can get it for half the price.
I guess that's just reality.
And if I had cancer my socialized medicine would pay for the cure so I'm ok.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#38
Quote by Ur all $h1t
I know, that's what I'm saying.

It does suck for a little while though before the patent wares of. Like when I had hay-fever and I used to have to buy that expensive drug but now that the patent is gone I can get it for half the price.
I guess that's just reality.
And if I had cancer my socialized medicine would pay for the cure so I'm ok.

Yay Socialism!

As usual Ur all $h1t makes a great point. A socialist health service has you covered for expensive drugs. Although not always.

I remember the Herceptin controversy.
Last edited by freedoms_stain at Feb 28, 2008,
#39
Quote by Dudage
Yes, it's ok.

Welcome to capitalism

True capitalism wouldn't allow patents, jackass.

No, it's not okay, but do you really think any major drug corporation takes morals into account?
#40
Quote by freedoms_stain
Yay Socialism!

One question
Because you're a chemist could I have your opinion on this ridiculous thing I was thinking of.
Say way way in the future the pharmaceutical industry becomes so efficient that they can cure all diseases, that means they go bust right?
So maybe they would start creating new diseases while simultaneously creating the cures and waiting a while to distribute them so they can make money on it.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
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