Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington DC, USA
Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He has done research in a wide variety of areas, including the housing market and the macroeconomy, labor markets and the impact of labor protections, and intellectual property. He has written numerous books and articles in both general and professional publications. His most recent book is Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.
The world spends more than $1 trillion annually on prescription drugs with the United States alone spending more than $400 billion. These drugs would likely cost less than one-fifth of this amount in the absence of patent monopolies and related protections. By raising the price of life-saving medicines by several thousand per cent above their free market price, this system of protections results in enormous economic waste and imposes large costs to public health. In an alternative system of publicly financed research, the drugs developed could be sold as generics at their free market price. Under this alternative system, all research findings would also be publicly available to benefit other researchers and also to allow physicians to make more informed decisions in treating patients. It is also possible to transition to a system of publicly funded research by having public financing of the clinical trial phase of the research process.
Host: Mathias Rask-Andersen
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