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En el artículo de Reason “Maten a la FDA (¡Antes de que Vuelva a Matar!)” comentan lo siguiente:

Los requisitos de la FDA, a menudo arbitrarios, pero siempre intensivos en tiempo han creado un sistema en el que los nuevos medicamentos toman cerca de 10 a 15 años en llegar al mercado, a un costo típico de 800 millones de dólares o más. Como mi colega de Reason, Ronald Bailey, ha escrito, esto significa que la cautela de la FDA “puede estar matando a más personas de las que salva.” ¿Cómo es eso? “Si le toma a la FDA diez años para aprobar un medicamento que salva 20.000 vidas al año esto significa que 200.000 personas murieron en el ínterin.”

Esto no sólo afecta a los estadounidenses, sino que a todo el mundo. Ésto porque los EEUU son uno de los mercados de medicamentos más grandes y es común que si un medicamento no se aprueba en los EEUU, tampoco se vende en muchos otros lugares, incluido Chile.

¿Aún hay dudas sobre el origen del alto costo de desarrollar medicamentos? Claramente no es tanto porque sea caro el desarrollo en sí de la droga (que lo puede ser), sino que lo que más dispara los costes es el proceso de aprobación por parte del ente regulador estatal. Un ejemplo claro de cómo la regulación no ayuda, sino que daña e incluso mata.

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notch:

On Patents

Let’s say you’re Neo, and you were the first person ever to come up with the idea of a novel. It’s like a short story, but longer, and you’re really proud of it.

Trinity then runs up to you and takes one of the few printed copies of your novel. You don’t want her to do that, as you paid good money to have it printed, and was hoping to get that money back, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit theft.

She sulks for a bit, then asks if she can borrow one copy to read it. You say “sure”, but she sneaks off to the copy machine and starts printing her own copies of the book. You don’t want her to do that, as you want to be the only one who can make new copies of your novel, as you want to make a profit of it, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit copyright infringement.

She sobs for a bit more, then starts writing her own novel. You don’t want her to do that, because you came up with the idea of writing a longer short story first, and you want to profit from all novels that are ever written, by anyone, so you taze her. Trinity tried to commit patent infringement.

I am fine with the concept of “owning stuff”, so I’m against theft. Society breaks down if people can’t “own stuff”.

I am mostly fine with the concept of “selling stuff you made”, so I’m also against copyright infringement. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as theft, and I’m not sure it’s good for society that some professions can get paid over and over long after they did the work (say, in the case of a game developer), whereas others need to perform the job over and over to get paid (say, in the case of a hairdresser or a lawyer). But yeah, “selling stuff you made” is good.

But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas. Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.

A common argument for patents is that inventors won’t invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently. If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first?

I will say that there are areas which are very costly to research, but where the benefits for mankind long term are very positive. I would personally prefer it to have those be government funded (like with CERN or NASA) and patent free as opposed to what’s happening with medicine, but I do understand why some people thing patents are good in these areas.

Trivial patents, such as for software, are counterproductive (they slown down technical advancement), evil (they sacrifice baby goats to baal), and costly (companies get tied up in pointless lawsuits).

If you own a software patent, you should feel bad.

The Word of Notch: On Patents