Saturday, December 30, 2006

Intellectual Property of Drugs

Just before Christmas, Joseph E. Stiglitz authored a scathing criticism of how our model for intellectual property rights fosters selfishness within the pharmaceutical industry. I could not agree more with him. Since nanopharmaceuticals stand the chance of having a more rational design than small molecules, and thus their development may cost less, government and private incentive prizes may be viable. If the Gates Foundation or Google wanted to offer a hundred million dollar prize to the first team that can use liposomally or viral capsid delivered siRNA to knock down trypanosome alternative oxidase in humans, it could probably be done and would have many capable participants across the globe.

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