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Pharmaceutical FreedomWhy Patients Have a Right to Self Medicate$
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Jessica Flanigan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190684549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190684549.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

The Business of Medicine

The Business of Medicine

(p.166) 6 The Business of Medicine
Pharmaceutical Freedom

Jessica Flanigan

Oxford University Press

Policies that prohibit manufacturers from charging high prices for drugs potentially hinder patients’ access to drugs. Popular concerns about high drug prices cannot generally justify policies that interfere with voluntary exchanges between patients and pharmaceutical manufacturers because the pharmaceutical industry is normatively different from other industries. And even if drug manufacturers did have special duties to promote patients’ health, such duties could not justify limits on drug prices. Intellectual property protections also consist in government interference with voluntary transactions between patients and manufacturers. Whether this form of interference is justified will depend on whether intellectual property laws benefit patients more than alternative systems or whether patents protect producers’ rights.

Keywords:   prescription drug prices, medical innovation, intellectual property, price gouging, regulatory reciprocity, patents

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