Tell Me How It Ends: The Path to Nationalizing the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry

73 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019 Last revised: 2 Apr 2020

See all articles by Fran Quigley

Fran Quigley

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: November 30, 2019

Abstract

The U.S. medicines system is broken. Millions of Americans suffer and some even die because they cannot afford medicines discovered by government-funded research. At the same time, corporations holding monopoly patent rights to those medicines collect some of the largest profits in modern capitalist history. It doesn’t have to be this way. The global legacy of treating essential medicines as a public good and the robust U.S. history of government seizure of private property when necessary for the public interest reveals a better path: the U.S. should nationalize its pharmaceutical industry. U.S. statutory law provides broad powers for the executive branch to immediately order patent-free medicines manufacturing and distribution. And U.S. constitutional law, interpreted in light of the pharmaceutical industry’s substantial reliance on government funding and licensing, along with the industry’s widespread malfeasance that harms the public welfare, justifies full seizure of all industry assets with limited compensation.

Suggested Citation

Quigley, Fran, Tell Me How It Ends: The Path to Nationalizing the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry (November 30, 2019). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper No. 2019-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3496795 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3496795

Fran Quigley (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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