The NYT Tells Us that Drugs Are Cheap, Government-Granted Patent Monopolies Make Them Expensive

February 07, 2023

Okay, that’s not exactly what the NYT told us. A piece, headlined “The Medicine is a Miracle, but only if You Can Afford It,” told readers how patients struggle to pay for drugs that sell for tens, or even hundreds, of thousands a dollars a year. The piece describes people taking out GoFundMe pages or seeking out foundations that would pay for treatments that can improve their health and/or save their lives.

While the piece tells us that drug companies invest lots of money in developing these drugs or treatments, it neglects to mention that the we could eliminate this problem if we simply paid for the research up front. This would mean having the government pick up the tab for the research, as it already does with over $50 billion a year of funding to the National Institutes of Health, and then having all new drugs and treatments available as cheap generics. In that situation, we would not be forcing people with serious illnesses to run around begging for money to get effective treatments.


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