re: Protectionist Cato?

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Writes Casey Khan: “I guess there was no invention before the US patent office opened.

“Cato adjunct scholar Richard Epstein writes: ‘Patented goods are subject to a lawful monopoly created by the state in order to induce their creation. No one thinks that new pharmaceutical drugs will be invented by private firms that cannot receive a rate of return sufficient to recover not just the cost of fabricating and selling each pill, but also the huge front-end costs that reach (when dead ends are taken into account) under anyone’s estimate in the hundreds of millions of dollars for each new product that reaches the market.

“‘The legal monopoly granted by the patent is the only mechanism that allows the producer to recover those fixed costs, for without it new competitors could produce the same generic compound at a fraction of the price, driving the first drug out of the marketplace.’”

7:36 pm on July 24, 2003