by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 10th 2010 6:15am
The deeper you look at the pharmaceutical industry, the more and more ridiculous it seems. Pharma has abused patent laws greatly for many years (even though many of the roots of the industry come from areas that refused to allow patents on drugs... until some companies got too big and wanted to limit competition). The latest news is that the World Health Organization apparently has been dinged for exaggerating the H1N1 flu threat... in part because they relied on pharmaceutical industry insiders for information. Guess what they suggested? Stockpiling a limited supply of super expensive pharmaceuticals, which were so super expensive thanks to patents limiting competition. Part of the issue is that the goals of the pharma industry are not at all aligned with basic public policy on health care. The incentive structure is entirely screwed up. Pharma has no interest in making sure people are healthy, but because sometimes its drugs happen to do that, as a side effect of making money for the industry, officials falsely believe that pharma execs should have some sort of say in public health policy.
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