…psychedelic patents & law
One, the measure to get psilocybin… legalized and one for decriminalization, both just in one state in Oregon. Let’s say even together it was something on the order of 10 million dollars.
And so, calling this out to say… the amount of money that is raised by all these companies, say, GH Pharma, ATAI, Compass, Mindmed, the others… many, many orders of magnitude more than 10 million dollars. So are we pointing in the wrong direction, maybe the question is, is putting all this money in drug development, in patent filing, is that going in the wrong direction? What would all this money do if it was put into drug policy reform, in attempts to decriminalize drugs at the State level, in attempts to provide other legalized, regulated ways to access psychedelics like what Measure 109… in Oregon. So it’s a question, I suppose of… priorities, but it is something that I think depending on what you see as being the ideal orientation for a future psychedelics market, perhaps we could be pointing away from it… another issue that I was involved with deeply was the one around overdose and making Naloxone available… you know, Naloxone was patented 60 years ago by Jack Fishman and others… it was not a big profit thing, the patent ran out. Then you had one company that comes along and produces a nasal spray version… and another on that produces and auto-inject version so they are making it a little bit easier for people to administer and then they do everything possible to try to block others from coming into that in the face of a massive overdose fatality crisis… we have these products of naloxone which costs pennies or maybe dollars to make but the products are being sold for… tens of dollars if not hundreds of dollars. Is that a risk in this psychedelics… areas? I definitely do see that that’s a concern. That really just is the way the patent system plays itself out… the benefit of the patent to the patent holders is they can set prices however they want… that’s the monopoly power that the patent gives them… in just about every instance with pharmaceutical drugs they tend to go up in price as the patent life goes along because the company has the ability to set those prices on their own… insulin… like naloxone very famously was patented many many years ago and actually the patent was sold to a university for a dollar because the inventor wanted insulin to be broadly available and people now, a hundred year later still pay over a 1,000 dollars a month for it. So, similarly in the pharmaceutical space companies know how to play these games with their patents to extend patent life and patent protection to find ways to patent tweaks to a molecule or delivery device or way that it’s being offered to be able to continue to raise prices and exclude competition. So I do see that once the psychedelics enter the pharmaceutical system at large they’ll suffer from all the same structural failures of the broader patent system within the pharmaceutical industry.