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
Date Written: November 30, 2019
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.
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