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Cialis and patents

The idea of a patent makes good commercial sense. You give an inventor a monopoly to sell the new product without anyone being allowed to copy it. So, as a consumer, you either pay the asking price or go without. With no competition, the inventor can keep the price high and earn back the R&D costs fast. Once into profit, there’s a bigger return on the money invested and, in turn, this encourages more investment in R&D. The more consistently creative and innovative the manufacturer, the more money it makes. Except, this is a way of gouging the consumer. Let’s say for argument’s sake that the manufacturer gets a ten year monopoly and, at the end of five years, it has recovered all its R&D costs. It now has five years in which it can continue to charge the same high prices without there being any competition in the market. So here’s the question? How much profit should an inventor be allowed to make?

At present, this is never discussed let alone defined in law. Manufacturers simply demand increasingly long period of protection without regard to the payback time. Let’s say the development of a particular drug was a lucky accident. The company was testing for one use but noticed the participants were discussing an interesting side effect. That’s how the erectile dysfunction drugs were discovered. No one was trying to develop this drug so the actual R&D costs after the accidental discovery were to cover a comprehensive clinical trial and the application to the FDA — a fraction of the usual costs. Yet a court has just given one of the manufacturers protection from a generic manufacturer until 2019. That’s twenty-three years of protection in total. No one can possibly suggest this is anything other than a decision to keep on gouging the consumers. To make a sexist point — this is a decision of Rebecca Beach Smith, a female judge who obviously doesn’t care that men are paying excessive prices to keep their sexual satisfaction levels high.

So was this an unusual case? Actually, this was a standard case of a manufacturer taking out a second patent on the same product some years after the first. Nothing like stretching out your gravy train. Except there was one interesting twist. The generic manufacturer waited until it arrived in court and then accused the attorneys representing the patent holder of “inequitable conduct”. To translate this into English, it accused the poor lawyers of being dishonest, deceitful and fraudulent. Strong accusations except it was too late to raise them. To investigate would require the patent case to be adjourned, possibly for months. The judge ruled this should have been raised long before the case came to trial.

This leaves the market for erectile dysfunction drugs without an immediate threat of a generic product competing for market share. So although only one manufacturer was involved, the other two manufacturers benefit. They have all agreed to keep their prices high. Only the internet offers any competition on price. The moral of this story is for you to buy Cialis online at the generic prices. That way, you get the full value of Cialis at the lowest possible price. You can feel good when sticking one in the eye of the patent system.