drug patents

06 Jul: Why pharmaceutical companies want marijuana legalized

I came across a really interesting piece on AlterNet, detailing the efforts of Big Pharma to develop and patent cannabis-based medicines. Apparently, pharmaceutical companies think medical marijuana delivered as patented pills, oral sprays and in other forms could be a real cash cow. They think this benefit would more than offset any loss of revenues from people turning to roll-your-own solutions. Here’s an excerpt from the story: Big Pharma is busily applying for — and has already received — multiple patents for the medical properties of pot … … as the private sector continues to move forward with research into the safety and efficacy of marijuana-based pharmaceuticals, it will become harder and harder for the government and law enforcement to…

23 Jun: What’s the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?

In the United States, we’re trained virtually from birth to value brand names — in fact, often to overvalue them. Did you know, for example, that when large corporations buy one another, they often have to pay millions — or even billions — of dollars for something accountants call “intangible assets”? One of these assets — called “goodwill” — can be thought of as the value of the brand. It reflects the profits a company makes over and above what you’d expect from the tangible assets alone, simply because of its reputation. Big pharmaceutical companies want you to buy into the value of brands when purchasing prescription medications — so you’ll pay more for them. That’s one of the reasons…

21 Nov: How the drug patent process protects Big Pharma’s profits

Patents were created to protect inventors’ right to their discoveries and to promote the progress of society. But over time, the drug industry has come to know patents as a money-printing machine. Today, drug patents actually work against their original purpose — discouraging real innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. The most profitable venture for drug companies is stretching out the patent of a billion-dollar drug. Patents make it illegal for a competitor to sell the same drug for a certain period of time. The longer a drug company can stretch out the patent life, the more money it can make. Extending a patent a few extra months translates into millions of dollars of added revenue. Once a drug company’s patent…