Spirituality

Are psychedelic patents ethical?

…as access to psychedelics becomes liberalised… patent holders can exclude others from making, using or selling the subject of the patent without their permission… the patenting of psychedelic compounds promotes biopiracy and threatens public health by reducing accessibility to medicine and deterring meaningful innovation…

In fact, most jurisdictions would exclude psychedelic plants from patent eligibility because they are products of nature and therefore free for all to use. However, companies can get around this by making subtle variations to their naturally-occurring chemical structure… while patent law advocates cite the incentive to innovate as a central tenet of patent law, evidence suggests that the opposite may be true and patents actually suppress innovation. Patenting was available for previous mental health treatments like SSRIs – a standardised treatment for depression and anxiety. However, psychopharmacology has seen little advancement in the last 50 years. In fact, more than 70% of medicines brought to market in the last two decades provided no new therapeutic benefit over products already available. Instead, low quality patents saturated the market with treatments that are not greatly distinguished from one another. SSRIs lack of effectiveness – evidenced by soaring suicide rates and the consequences of a catastrophic mental health crisis…

Original Article (Vice):
Are psychedelic patents ethical?
Artwork Fair Use: Micksculptor

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