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Beneficial Taxes

Page history last edited by Richard Karpinski 14 years, 3 months ago

Some great guys


Let me introduce you to Scott Johnson, the forward thinking founder and CEO of the Myelin Repair Foundation. He developed their Advanced Research Collaboration method to speed the discovery and development of cures for a disease he has known he has for over thirty years. Hardly any progress was made in all that time, so he set to work to apply what he learned in business to specific medical research efforts. It's working, albeit still too slowly.

Recently Scott was interviewed by PatientsLikeMe co-founder Jamie Heywood. Under questioning about the deep gap between government funded academic research and actual approved drugs in clinical use, which he calls the valley of death, Scott said this:

"First, most biological discoveries made in academic labs are not patented. Without the clear ownership that patent protection provides, biopharma is unwilling to make a multimillion investment in drug development. Second, there is little to no funding available to conduct the validation studies necessary to fully demonstrate that the basic scientific discoveries made in academic laboratories will truly and safely impact the disease state in humans." 

Some income streams and some new taxes we can love


Patents give pharma monopoly profits. They spend some of these profits on several things that annoy me: direct advertising to patients, freebies for doctors, and lobbying Congress. I think we should tax exactly those activities to supply funding to cross the valley of death and a few other things. Off hand, I'd like to see a one-to-one tax on the advertising, a two-to-one tax on freebies, and a ten-to-one tax on lobbying Congress. 
Pharma gets to set their own prices for patented medications and have those patents protected and defended in our courts. They get their income from our citizens who are in need of those medications. As a free society, we should use our taxing authority to guide behavior and to support needed infrastructure.

With our present constitution, Supreme Court, and the best Congress that money can buy, we should take advantage of pharma's huge and endless stream of income that we both guard and supply to make the entire system work better. If these new taxes end up causing pharma to rebalance their spending profile, that would be exactly right and would benefit our whole society. 

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