Tag: Regulatory Capture

India, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

 

Article72Our conversation about Martin Shkreli and Indian pharmaceuticals reminded me that I’ve been having a mental debate with myself for a while. Where better to air my confusion than Ricochet?

As I argued, the case for importing generic medications from India is open-and-shut. I strongly suspect our failure to permit this is more owed to pharma-company rent-seeking and protectionism than to concern for public safety. American consumers are discerning enough to make their own decisions about whether they trust drugs from overseas. If we allowed them to come into the country, rigorous and trustworthy private mechanisms for inspecting overseas drug manufacturing facilities would quickly emerge, just as they have for awarding Michelin stars to restaurants around the world.

But I’m confused about the ideal regulatory regime for medication under patent, and indeed, for intellectual property generally. It’s a challenging problem if you think markets allocate scarce resources more efficiently than central planners do. The legitimate fight between the US and Indian pharma — “legitimate,” in the sense of, “I’m not sure who’s right” — is a case in point.

The Knave Detector

 

bandwidthI recently read a comment that Marx is useful to us because his philosophy allows us to easily identify fools and knaves. I’ve personally observed that the net neutrality debate is useful for much the same reason.

The FCC is currently considering a proposal that has many up in arms. Consider this, from the activist group SumOfUs:

Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon want to control what we can and cannot do online — and they’re about to get their wish.

Jack Daniel’s, It’s Like I Don’t Even Know You Anymore — Troy Senik

 

I’d like to tell you that the rollout of Ricochet 2.0 was sponsored by Jack Daniel’s, but that would imply that they were putting money into my pocket instead of the other way around. Yes, like any good writer, when the yoke becomes heavy I often pour my therapy into a tumbler (to say nothing of my writerly support for the coffee and tobacco industries — I’m a one-man farm bill!). I may have doubled the GDP of Lynchburg this week.

shutterstock_174073781Being partial to whiskey — and my intermittent home state of Tennessee — Jack Daniel’s is less a choice and more a matter of muscle memory. It’s woven into the very fabric of the Volunteer State.