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Prizes for Drugs

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"Prizes for Drugs"

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I wasn’t really as blown away by John Edwards health care as some others I know (it was good, though) but this here is a real game-changer:

Edwards’ plan would remove long-term patents for companies that develop breakthrough drugs and then reap large profits because of the monopolies those patents provide, according to a statement by Edwards obtained Wednesday evening.

Edwards said offering cash incentives instead would allow multiple companies to produce those drugs and drive down prices.

That’s an idea that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Obviously, the details matter, but competent people can work out appropriate details — what Edwards is giving us here is the political leadership necessary to start putting details on the table. Realistically, this goes in the “unlikely to happen” file anyway, so they details sort of don’t matter (sort of), but fortunately there are a whole variety of ways a president sensitive to the perversity of the current intellectual property status of pharmaceuticals could make things better.

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