This from no less an authoratative source than In the Pipeline. Derek cracks me up sometimes. Below he prints the synopsis of the latest Slate pronouncement concerning the origin of the drug patent cliff.
So this sudden terrible problem has been obvious and on schedule for at least 10 years.
It honestly is that simple and that stupid. The pharmaceutical industry turned all its energy toward wringing as much money as possible out of the drugs it already had, and quit making any sort of plans that would lead to having a new (and, you know: medically useful) batch of drugs under patent in the future, when the patents on the old batch expired.
Now the pharmaceutical companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers because they are worried about their financial future, because although they are officially in the business of producing and selling drugs, they stopped producing drugs.
Derek concludes that if Slate authors are pushing that drug companies just haven't been doing any research at all for the last ten or twenty years. . .well, then they're morons.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 9th 2011.