Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Economics of the EpiPen

Since we talked about this in class a bit on Thursday, I thought students would find this post interesting.  The article argues there are possible solutions, but nothing really attractive.

My own view on this is that our intellectual property laws are now too skewed in favor of the patent (or copyright) holder.  One way to change things would be to shorten the term for which the intellectual property protection applies.  That solution is not suggested in the piece, but it is something to consider.  Presumably after the device is out of patent, there can be effective competition from generic alternatives.  At that point, it is the responsibility of the generic manufacturers to convince doctors that their product is as good as the original.  Maybe that's a tough sell, but that's what needs to happen.

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