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Could You Patent the Sun?

Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed.  What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?

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Could You Patent the Sun?

Produced by Peter Klein
Original Release
December 11, 2016

Decades after Dr. Jonas Salk opposed patenting the polio vaccine, the pharmaceutical industry has changed.  What does that mean for the development of innovative drugs and for people whose lives depend on them?

Lives and Profits in the Balance: The High Stakes of Medical Patents

By Clyde Haberman

“The West Wing,” Aaron Sorkin’s television series about a fictional White House, had a knack for crisply summarizing complex real-life issues. In an episode from 2000, pharmaceutical executives and leaders of an AIDS-plagued African country are summoned to the White House. The purpose is to see if reluctant businessmen can be persuaded to sell the Africans desperately needed drugs at a modest price. Read more…

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