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One of the top orders of business for the Biden administration is curbing drug prices.

It’s a laudable goal. High drug prices are a major public health concern; there is broad political support for reining in the cost of drugs; and Americans pay a lot for drugs.

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  • Actually if one looks up the data not an opinion drug prices in the US are 3 to 5 x higher than all European countries and others ; in year 2018 the US spent 365 BILLION with a B which is half the defense budget ; to correct high pricing allow importation of drugs from any country but Congress will never allow this ; we all know WHY

  • Your central point, Jake, is that patents are not a panacea. True. But when you do see deliberate creation of impenetrable patent thickets and broad claims, patent practices and jurisprudence do matter. So finding common ground with Matt Lane’s parallel opinion piece, what are two or three reforms that *should* be pursued regarding patents to improve access to drugs, devices and medical services? Even if they don’t save the world, current practice matters immensely to some subpopulations, and patent reform might improve access. Even if improving access, would such reforms reduce incentives for finding new products and services in the first place?

  • Many valid points EXCEPT the patent system DOES need to be used properly vis a vis Bayh-Dole provision regarding the “claw back provision” that as one expert suggested has no claws. It is absolutely essential that *when necessary* it is used. An example of such a use should have been the case of Gilead’s Truvada, which has been used for PrEP (indication). The cost differential here between this brand name drug and its use even if branded in Europe and generics available elsewhere has had an impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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