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Dean Baker breaks down Remdesivir


The article <a href="" source="Beat the Press" author="Dean Baker">A Gilead-Remdesivir Fix: The Ten Percent Solution</a> points out that it is absolutely not difficult to fix the so-called problem with remdesivir. It's a short article, so I'll just cite it in full, highlighting the most salient bits for those who need a tl;dr for a four-paragraph article. <bq>The Washington Post had an excellent piece documenting how <b>the government put up most of the money for developing remdesivir</b>, a drug that now offers the hope of being the first effective treatment for the coronavirus. As the piece explains, in spite of the substantial contribution of public funds, <b>Gilead Sciences holds a patent monopoly on remdesivir</b>, which will allow it to charge whatever it wants without facing competition from other manufacturers. There is a simple and obvious solution to this problem. <b>The government should simply take possession of the patent, putting it in the public domain so that anyone can manufacture the drug</b> and also conduct further research, subject to the requirement that any subsequent developments are also in the public domain. To ensure that Gilead is fairly compensated, <b>we can pay the company an amount that is 10 percent above any research costs it incurred that exceeded the government payments for development</b>. Gilead would just have to submit its records, with the payment coming after they are fully audited. See, itís simple, fun, and easy. <b>We get the drug. Gilead gets a respectable profit, and remdesivir is cheap.</b> Is everybody happy? (Emphasis added.)</bq> The problem seems to be that people cannot even <i>conceive</i> of the government revoking a patent---which it absolutely has the power to do. The government giveth and the government taketh away. How is it even currently a thing that the government spends all the money on research, then privatizes the profits from that research? Answer: corruption, graft, and the same people coming out on top, of course. If you don't accept that certain companies get absolutely free handouts from the government, life gets a lot better for a lot of people in a hurry.