Improving Access to Medicines in the Developing World

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Monday, 24 April 2006 12:45
Dean Baker spoke at a panel discussion this morning at the University of Maryland School of Medicine: Improving Access to Medicines in the Developing World. Also on the panel were Dr. Allyn Taylor, a professor at the UMD School of Medicine in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, and Ken Gustavsen, manager of Global Product Donations for Merck & Co., Inc.  During the discussion, Dean pointed out that the only reason drugs are expensive is because of patent monopolies: "Drugs are cheap, patents are expensive." He also emphasized that because of patent monopolies, most research funding is wasted on copycat research. In addition, they also provide incentives to falsify results and conceal negative research findings. For these reasons, it is necessary to adopt a better system for financing prescription drug research.