Re: For a contrasting view...
>Without getting into the discussion about price-gouging of on-patent pharmaceuticals, I will point out that the drug discovery process is difficult, expensive, and littered with blind-alleys, so I do think this sort of patent has merit.
Indeed, a tits-up stage III failure can cost £1bn. However I do take issue with the areas a lot of pharms companies are researching into, namely lifestyle conditions that you have to take a pill for the rest of your life to manage rather than cures. A classic example in the past was the discovery of Helicobacter pylori and a course of antibiotics would rid you of ulcers rather than having to use Zantac every day, the dirty tricks used against the original researchers in an attempt to discredit them was deplorable by the makers of Zantac.
We need new antibiotics and antivirals as a matter of urgency but cures are not in big pharma's interest, just keep taking the expensive tablets for life and we can bank the cash.