Penicillin: A Paradigm for Biotechnology

Michael Witty mw132 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Sun May 20 07:30:45 EST 2001

On Sun, 20 May 2001, Gordon Couger wrote:

> Where do you get the money for research and testing? We have a system designed
> to cost a fortune to get a drug approved. I agree that drugs developed with
> public money should be freely distributed. But that's not the way things work
> any more. There is still some plant breeding done that way but that is about the
> only thing the universities don't patent.
> In article <3B0713A6.37650D42 at mail.ncifcrf.gov>, Dr. Artem Evdokimov says...
> >
> >At that time, the British (rightfully) considered that patenting
> >discoveries directly related to medicine is unethical. I wish this point
> >of view was more widespread ...

There are actually some really good advantages to patenting.  Full
disclosure, rather than depending on secrecy to protect a process AND
patents expire after 20 years which means anyone can use the patented
process.  Can anyone suggest a better alternative?  Mike.

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