EU free-rides on drug research costs

The European Commission is upset that drug companies are making even a few billion on their drugs. This is what happens when you have government run health care systems. They don't seem to acknowledge that if you force the price of drugs down to generic prices, there won't be an incentive to develop new drugs. Given the price controlled prices that the EU countries allow drug companies to charge when their products are under patent protection, is it any wonder that the companies will do what they can to get even short term increases in the length of the patent. The BBC reports:

Drug companies are blocking or delaying the entry of cheaper generic medicines into the EU, pushing up medicine bills, the European Commission has said.

Their actions cost EU healthcare providers 3bn euros ($3.9bn; £2.5bn) in savings between 2000 and 2007, it said.

It added that drug firms used legal action and multiple patents to stop rivals getting to market.

Drug firms said the "perfectly lawful" measures were justified to protect investment in research and development. . . .

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