Patents Getting In The Way Of Saving Lives; Fabry Disease Sufferers Petition US Gov't To Step In
from the patent-problems dept
They're not trying to completely strip Genzyme of the patent. They're merely asking the government to let others produce the drug, and pay Genzyme a mandated 5% royalty. Now, I know the typical response from patent system supporters: without the patent, perhaps this drug wouldn't even exist. The only problem with that is that it's almost certainly not true. The actual research for Fabrazyme was actually done by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine financed by the National Institute of Health. Yes, you read that right. This drug was discovered with taxpayer money... but they were still able to get a patent and then license it to Genzyme.
Chances are this petition won't be approved. These petitions are never approved. But it does highlight the ridiculousness of the current patent system potentially putting people at risk. It's a travesty that federally funded research has been locked up under a patent and limited to only one producer, leading not only to very high prices for the drug, but also excessively limited supply that is putting people lives in danger, and may have already killed one person.