Could Abolishing Pharmaceutical Patents Save Democracy?

Trump told a lot of lies when he was running for president right he said no more stupid Wars and here we are supporting Saudi Arabia and this stupid war in Yemen that has now become the world's largest humanitarian crisis with literally tens of thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of children starving to death as we speak as you and I are talking right now American bombs are being dropped on Yemen by the Saudi military and you know this brutal dictator who who would literally crucify eat crucified somebody just the other day you know you speak up against his administration you get your head cut off or you get crucified and you know this is Trump's idea of a good thing but off on a tangent there but anyhow back to back to you know where we're at with Trump's promises Trump promised that he wasn't gonna get us into stupid Wars he promised that he was going to lower drug prices he promised that he'd have a better plan for for health care than Obama care that would not be single-payer government-run it he promised that he was going to bring back our jobs no we've actually lost more jobs overseas in fact the one of the trade agreements that he's promoting the new NAFTA well actually even it was in his tax bill now companies can deduct up to 50 percent of the cost of moving jobs overseas whereas before they couldn't you know it was largely not deductible so he's actually increased the incentives for companies to move jobs overseas he lied about that he's lied about pretty much everything you know other than that he wants to build a wall which is completely ineffective you know thirteenth century solution to a 21st century problem that you know has to do with massive climate change and political dislocation in Central America that we should be helping them out with rather than putting their people in you know particularly their children in cages when they in dog pounds when they come here to the United States and then paying some private corporation that's got John Kelly on his board of directors 750 dollars a day to keep somebody in a dog cage with no soap and no shower I mean and and no doctors now they're going to court to prevent doctors from going in to see these people this is nuts but back to drug prices drug prices last or went up 500% faster than the inflation rate they looked at 3400 dogs this is from a report from CBS News so far in 2019 more than 3400 drugs have boost their prices in average 17% the rate of inflation right now is a little over 1% so why are drug prices going up and what can we do about it you know Trump is doing about this he's like oh maybe transparency if we just list the prices of drugs you know yeah it's not that hard to find the prices or maybe we need more coupons I mean it's just it is floundering I've got a solution and it's not just mine I mean Dean Baker actually wrote about this over at Ruth out and I so agree with him and by the way this is what you know this is one of the things Thomas Jefferson was ranting about in his letter to James Madison in December of 1789 or 1787 rather when he wanted a ban on commercial monopolies put into the Constitution what he was talking about was not only the kind of monopolies where you know like you know Amazon controls the world he was also talking about patents and you know Jefferson was a prolific inventor as was Ben Franklin they invented a whole lot of things that to this day we use and yet they never patented any of them why because they think they didn't think it was best for the country so why are drug prices so high I mean there's there's very few drugs that cost more than you know pennies a pill to make at the money you know even even the the the the new really expensive drugs the drugs that they're charging ten thousand dollars a pill for a hundred thousand dollars for a year's course of they'd like one of those cancer drugs that Louise took that this literally saved her life the actual manufactured cost of that drug is around four dollars a dose so how is it that they're charging a hundred thousand dollars well they're saying well we have to charge 100 thousand dollars because we spend so much money developing drugs actually what they spend so much money doing is a advertising them on television and be figuring out ways to tweak an already existing drug you know just slightly change the molecule so you can give it a new name and have brand-new patent or you can call it a new version of the same drug in other words they're gaming this system why are they doing this again because of patents if you patent something then you're the only person who can make it unless you license somebody else with that patent so here's the solution let's do away with drug patents no more patents on drugs period I mean when the guy who invented insulin back in the 1890s or discovered a way to purify it it was Pig insulin at the time and make it have you know men use it for humans to deal with diabetes type 1 diabetes he gave that away he refused to patent it because he never wanted anybody had to pay for insulin and now you've got people diabetics who are having to pay $1,500 a month for diabetes drug it for their insulin why because the the companies were able to tweak very very slightly the molecule change in just a little bit you know take two or or even lock down the generics this is wrong so now obviously if you say we're not going to patent drugs anymore of course the cost of a drug is going to go down to the price of basically herbs at CVS you know it's you know three dollars a bottle for some ginkgo biloba or whatever but you would say well then the drug companies don't have any incentive to develop new products well to a certain extent that's BS you can't patent coffee and yet there's no lack of competition in the coffee arena you can't patent tea but there's no lack of competition in the tea arena you can't patent bread but there's no lack of competition in the bread arena and there's new companies coming along all the time so number one it's a BS argument but number two it does cost a lot of money to develop drugs in fact you and I last year through the National Institutes of Health spent 40 billion dollars developing new drugs which we then gave to the drug companies for them to patent why do we do that and then the drug companies themselves claimed that they spent an additional eighty billion dollars on this yeah best guess probably five billion of that was actually you know cutting-edge research most of it was tweaking existing things but we're gonna spend four hundred sixty billion dollars a year this year on drugs that the true cost that that in a real free market if drugs were marketed the way that coffee is marketed or bread is marketed or herbs are marketed you know or vitamins are marketed you can't patent vitamins if we were to treat pharmaceuticals the same way we treated those things in terms of their ability to be patented that four hundred sixty billion dollars that you and I are spending on drugs would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of eighty billion dollars so what about the the research that the companies are doing well let's have the government do all the research or fund all the research it's fine they the drug companies can apply for government grants to do research and then the government can say no we're not going to give you a grant to tweak you know xanax you can turn it into Xan Z a brand new drug you know so you can just you know keep the price super high or I don't you know make a new version of an already existing you know quinolone antibiotic we're not gonna pay for that but if you want to figure out a new drug that's actually going to deal with something like Parkinson's or going to deal with something like Alzheimers yeah we will fund that and we will continue to fund it through universities so let's separate the money-making from the research making by doing away with patents on drugs by declaring simply declaring we can do this legislatively that life liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to have pharmaceuticals that actually work that you can actually afford and therefore pharmaceuticals are no longer patentable and we're going to subsidize the development of you pharmaceuticals both in the public sector and in the private sector and you would see drug prices drop to 10% of what they are today maybe 20% at the most and suddenly people would not have to be cutting back on their insulin and I mean literally people are dying right now because they're cutting their pills in half cuz they're cutting their insulin doses down to the point where they're ending up with gangrene

16 thoughts on “Could Abolishing Pharmaceutical Patents Save Democracy?

  • Just because we elected a moron for president doesn't mean we should change the American system. Just elect the right guy, don't try to fix a system that has been the best in the world for hundreds of years.

  • If they can't patent it, then they can't make money on it, so they won't invent them. If you don't believe that, check for all the new technology that came out of the Soviet Union and now Russia. Almost nothing, because the people can't profit from it, even though Russians are probably more intelligent than Americans.

  • Healthcare in the United States is one of the biggest scams in human history. I'm at the point to where the only thing I trust in this country is math.

  • What prevents the government from using eminent domain to buy the patents for life saving drugs? They have no qualms about abusing it to help profiteering companies build life threatening oil or gas wells and pipelines.

  • Thom do you think we need to rewrite the constitution?

    Trump also promised to drain the swamp… If it weren't so terrible I'd laugh.

  • No, Donald Trump does not want to build a wall! If he wanted to build his wall, he would have at least started while the Republicans held the House, the Senate, and the White House – but, he didn't even do any due diligence, much less did he secure funding. He didn't even choose one of the border wall prototypes he spent millions of dollars to have built! He only wants the wall as a talking point!

  • Prohibit all patents for medicines developed with even one penny of government funds. Most researchers rely upon grants and most research centers rely upon grants. We are paying to develop drugs we cannot afford to buy. This is nonsense. Also end all patents for natural substances.

  • "Because of patents". Why do they care about patents? Because capitalism literally forces you to put profit over everything else just to stay competitive and the billionaires will just influence the government with their immense financial power. The problem is capitalism.

  • Republican and democrats are the same thing, I already analyze the entire history, just remember, ww2 and what happens after that, Haaaaaaaa it takes a special individual to figure it out 🤔

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