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Is the Patenting of Life-Saving Drugs Justifiable?

Life-saving drugs are usually too expensive. The production of cheaper and generic versions of these medicines is prohibited for a particular number of years by international laws by virtue of patenting. A life-saving drug patent allows a pharmaceutical company to monopolize the production of a drug. This means that only that company can manufacture, use, or sell the drug.

Many people who suffer from fatal diseases die because they cannot afford to buy the drugs that could cure or treat them. Because of this, many people say that the patenting of life-saving drugs must be discontinued. However, there are people who maintain that patenting life-saving drugs is justified.

Supporters of patenting say that bypassing patents on life-saving drugs is not as simple as it sounds. According to them, one of the reasons why patents are necessary is because they serve as incentives for pharmaceutical companies to continue to produce life-saving drugs and to find cure for various diseases.

In addition, research and development of drugs cost time, money, and energy. For this reason, patents are necessary to give inventors the right to benefit from their inventions or products of their intellectual properties. Also, patents reward hard work and encourage creativity.

Finally, patenting critics may say that pharmaceutical companies charge too much for drugs intended for life-threatening diseases. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing because in the long run, patenting creates a market where other companies can sell cheaper drugs for those diseases.

Opponents say that getting easy access to life-saving drugs is a matter of life and death. Regardless of people’s socio-economic standing, they should have equal access to drugs that can save their lives. It is true that research and development efforts for drugs are costly. However, patenting defeats the purpose of developing these drugs if not everyone can afford them anyway.

Moreover, the monopoly of life-saving drugs is an immoral and unethical business that only kills the poor and saves the rich while drug corporations make profits. Patenting drugs is no different from choosing who gets to live and who gets to die. It is anti-human.

Lastly, according to analysis of experts, by 2030, roughly 50 million people will need new drugs to stay alive. Science and the law should be on the side of these people in need instead of those who have money. The only parties who stand to gain are pharmaceutical companies and the people who can afford to buy their drugs.

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Summary 
Life-saving drugs are usually too expensive for poor people to afford. This is because pharmaceutical companies that invented them can monopolize the production and distribution of their drugs, which means they can sell them at any price. Many people die because they cannot afford to buy these lifesaving drugs. However, there are people who maintain that patenting of life-saving drugs is justified. 

Agree
1. Patents serve as incentives for pharmaceutical companies to continue the work that they do.
2. Patents reward hard work and encourage creativity.
3. In the long run, patents create a market where other companies can sell cheaper drugs for a disease.

Disagree
1. People should have equal access to drugs that save their lives.
2. The monopoly of lifesaving drugs is anti-human.
3. Science and the law should be on the side of people in need, instead of those who have money.

vocabularies

justifiable 타당한, 정당한

generic 포괄적인

virtue 선, 미덕 


patent 특허 

pharmaceutical company 제약 회사

monopolize 독점하다

bypass 우회하다

immoral 부도덕한

unethical 비윤리적인

자료제공 EDU TIMES EBS english 컨텐츠 제공

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