Why are drug prices so high? Investigating the outdated US patent system | Priti Krishtel | Summary and Q&A

by
TED
YouTube video player
Why are drug prices so high? Investigating the outdated US patent system | Priti Krishtel

TL;DR

In this thought-provoking talk, the speaker discusses the outdated patent system and its impact on drug prices and access to medicine, proposing five reforms to create a patent system that serves the public.

Install to Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Transcripts

Key Insights

  • 👑 American patent system is outdated and fueling the high cost of medicines, leading to a global crisis with over two billion people living without access to medicines.
  • 💊 Rising drug costs are pushing families into homelessness, seniors into bankruptcy, and parents to crowdfund treatment for critically ill children.
  • 💰 Corporations are gaming the patent system to extend their monopolies, with 125 patents filed on average for each medicine, many of which are for minor changes.
  • 🌍 The outdated patent system in America is being exported to the rest of the world, exacerbating the global crisis.
  • 🚫 The current system fails to adapt to today's realities and the needs of a 21st-century society, allowing pharmaceutical companies to exploit the system.
  • 🔒 A patent wall strategy is being used to block competition, leading to skyrocketing drug prices and limited options for consumers.
  • 🔄 Reimagining the patent system requires implementing reforms such as raising the bar for patent eligibility, changing the financial incentives of the Patent Office, and increasing public participation and oversight.
  • ❤️ The need for a modern patent system is about people, their quest to invent, and their right to live, and it is time to create a patent system that reflects this understanding.

Transcript

For my husband, it was love at first sight. (Laughter) Here's what happened. Years ago, Rudy, who I had strictly put in the friend zone at the time, came over to my house and met my dad, a pharmaceutical scientist who had just retired after bringing a drug to market. My dad said, "Ah, you probably wouldn't have heard of it. It's for IPF, idiopathic... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What moment led to Rudy falling in love with the speaker's father?

Rudy fell in love with the speaker's father when he learned that the pharmaceutical scientist had developed a drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the disease that had taken Rudy's own father's life 15 years ago.

Q: What is the speaker's family's special love and reverence for?

The speaker's family has a special love and reverence for her father's inventions, particularly his patents. They have framed patents on the wall in their house and attribute their own successes to America enabling her father's potential as an inventor.

Q: What problem did the speaker discuss with the director of the US Patent Office?

The speaker discussed the issue of how the outdated patent system is fueling the high cost of medicines and costing lives with the director of the US Patent Office.

Q: How are rising drug costs impacting people?

Rising drug costs are pushing families into homelessness, seniors into bankruptcy, and parents to crowdfund treatment for their critically ill children. The speaker emphasizes that people are struggling or even dying because they cannot afford the medications they need.

Q: What is one reason for the current crisis in drug prices?

One reason for the crisis in drug prices is the outdated patent system. Corporations have teams of lawyers and lobbyists whose sole job is to extend patent protection as long as possible, leading to monopolies and the ability to set prices at whim.

Q: How long did it take for the US Patent Office to issue its first five million patents compared to its next five million?

It took the US Patent Office 155 years to issue its first five million patents, but only 27 years to issue the next five million. The speaker argues that this drastic increase is not due to a rise in inventiveness, but rather to corporations gaming the system.

Q: What is the speaker proposing as a solution to the current patent system?

The speaker proposes five reforms to create a modern patent system that serves the public. These include raising the bar for obtaining patents, changing the financial incentives of the Patent Office, increasing public participation, granting the right to go to court for the public, and establishing stronger oversight through an independent unit.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • A personal story about how meeting someone who shared a connection to a pharmaceutical drug led to a realization about the importance of patents and their impact on healthcare access.

  • The outdated patent system is contributing to the high cost of medicines and causing a global crisis in access to medication.

  • Five reforms are proposed to modernize the patent system, including raising the bar for patent approval, changing the financial incentives of the Patent Office, increasing public participation, granting the right to go to court, and establishing stronger oversight.

Share This Summary 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on:

Explore More Summaries from TED 📚

Summarize YouTube Videos and Get Video Transcripts with 1-Click

Download browser extensions on: