The NYT ran an interesting piece on the problems of clinical testing. At the end of the piece it suggests a better alternative to patent financed clinical trials. The alternative involves the simultaneous testing of multiple drugs. These trials are being conducted by a consortium supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, among others. (If the takers didn't call the shots, the drugs approved as a result of this process would all be available as generics. Needless to say, the drug companies probably have this arranged so that the government provides the service for free.)