Not often I spot typos in the New York Review of Books, but here is one that matters. The article dealt with the price of prescription drugs, and there are of course plenty of villains to go around: crony capitalists; advertising spending being larger than research spending —because it works!; and sloppy thinking with regard to IPR and patents. The article on paper read:
In late October, however, just before the congressional elections, Azar declared to reporters that high prices constituted “the greatest possible barrier to patent access.” Democratic strategists gave prescription drug prices high priority in congressional campaigns. Yet leaders in both parties understood that curbing prices would be no easy task. The pharmaceutical industry, which has long deployed one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, was increasing its representation in the capital.
Yes, should have read patient not patent, although no doubt pharma might not have agreed.
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So, let me get this right. The NHS wants to stop buying certain drugs from pharma, because they think the benefits do not merit the expense. Now, I regularly buy goods from Waitrose. On review, and after discussing the benefits of the various items with my family, I decide to stop buying the goods. (I had never entered into any long term contract). They just don’t seem worth it anymore. Waitose are not impressed, and say that they spent a lot of money stocking their shelves with said items, together with the 40% of their costs they spend on advertising and wining and dining doctors. They want a judicial review to force me to keep buying their goods. More of Galbraith’s ‘Welfare for the rich’, with tax payers subsidising businesses that can’t innovate in the marketplace. FT report here