Interesting article... Two guys go to two different sources, One says Pharma spends $33B on Marketing, the other says they spend $27B - So obviously, both numbers are wrong and Pharma must spend $60B - the sum of the other two estimates.
Even IF, and I do not concede the point, Pharma spends more on marketing than on research, that does not negate the cost of research that needs to be recouped. Marketing is the means by which they make known to Doctors, Pharmacists, Hospitals,etc. that these drugs are available, effective, what they can be used for, and what possible side effects can be.
Without marketing, these drugs are useless, as the persons at the end of the supply chain won't know about them, won't prescribe them, and the patient does not get the benefit.
Patents do NOT hold back medical technology. They actually encourage private investment in developing new technology. What company would be willing to invest $100M in developing and getting FDA approval for the technology to quickly and efficiently screen for HIV, if another company can simply buy your machine, reverse engineer it, and bring a knock-off to market for only $1M? By allowing the companies a limited time monopoly (typically 7 years by the time they get all of the development, testing, and manufacturing facility approval), they are allowed to recoup their costs, and make enough profit so that they can invest in developing more technology.
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