Sometimes groups or individuals propose breaking the patent on an important drug because it's too expensive. This is not the right way to hold down drug prices, because it will hold down innovation. Breaking a patent is theft, no matter how you look at it.
The protection of intellectual property is vital to innovation. If anyone can just take something you created -- be it a song or a drug -- without proper compensation, there would be little reason to develop anything new. That, however, is predicated upon innovators playing fairly. In other words, they cannot seek patent protection for things that are not patentable. Yet, some pharmaceutical companies are doing just that.
The protection of intellectual property is one of the biggest challenges facing the technology industry. Somewhat hostile foreign powers, like China, are actively stealing it. What can the United States do to protect its own IP? ACSH interviewed Patrick Kilbride, Senior VP of the Global Innovation Policy Center, seeking answers.
A recent opinion piece in The Economist discusses a very polarizing topic whether patents granted to pharmaceutical companies help or discourage innovation in biomedical research. Unlike reflexive reactions of many other groups and commentators, who somehow think that it is fair to take intellectual property away from one particular industry, the Economist article recognizes that this is impossible, that is, if we ever want to see a new drug again.