Since the summer of 2015, I have been gradually building an understanding of American intellectual property (IP) law with an emphasis on patent law. As I learned more about IP law, I also learned more about the common abuses of the patent system. From patent trolls to “evergreening” practices, patent law is fraught with loopholes and complications, not to mention that the philosophical foundation of patent law is shaky at best.
As it turns out, the pharmaceutical industry is adept at taking advantage of the patent system’s imperfections. Yet, no one seems to notice – or, at least, no one seems to be doing anything about it. Consequently, prescription drugs are more expensive than ever, and prices continue to rise.
“Animal Pharma” is a play on the title of George Orwell’s famous novel, Animal Farm. The pharmaceutical industry purports to champion free market capitalism, while, in reality, its abuse of the patent system undermines capitalism’s fundamental principles of competition and low barriers to entry. This, in my view, is similar to the way in which the pigs in Animal Farm claim to create a free and equal society, while they are actually instating an oligarchy no better than the one they helped overthrow.
This podcast is driven by two main beliefs: 1. The American health care system is less complicated than it seems, and 2. If people understood the rampant corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, they would demand change. While I certainly have my own opinions on the issues explored in Animal Pharma, my goal is not to be an advocate for my own views. Rather, my goal is to be as clear, transparent, and even-handed as possible in my analysis of consumers’ relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and IP.
I am hoping to get my podcast on iTunes soon – it is kind of a tedious process.