India's Corrupt Pharmaceutical Market: The Fruits of the Protectionism Advocated by Free Traders

August 11, 2016

The NYT had an interesting piece on the pharmaceutical market in India, which just began recognizing patent monopolies on drugs a decade ago. Corruption and abusive sales practices of the sort described in the piece are exactly what economic theory predicts when tariffs of several hundred or several thousand percent are imposed in a market. While “free traders” like to ignore the harm from patent monopolies that raise the price of the protected items by these amounts, the market does not care whether the cause of an artifically high price is called a “patent” or a “tariff,” it has the same effect.


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