Spirituality

The emerging magic mushroom monopoly…

Magic mushrooms… cannot be patented. In December 2017, one of the godfathers of the contemporary psychedelic renaissance, Bob Jesse, penned a manifesto for the commercial era of hallucinogens, one that echoed as far and wide as when Timothy Leary famously evangelized, “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” in 1966. Jesse delivered a very different kind of message: “Open science for all!” A philanthropist and independent researcher, Jesse was instrumental to reviving a new wave of medical interest into psychedelic-assisted therapy starting in the 1990s.

In the manifesto, Jesse took a stand against would-be monopolists for flagrantly misusing patent laws, advocating instead for a shared creative commons for psychedelic research, with limited intellectual-property rights. The statement attracted over 100 co-signers, including every major figure in the psychedelic research and NGO community, from philanthropic funders to grassroots advocates… Over the last several decades, the guardrails against rapacious patent use have eroded. As a consequence, drug prices have skyrocketed and innovation has lagged. Big Pharma kingpins now enjoy longer reigns as monopolies, having developed an arsenal of techniques for extending their market control. Companies use tactics such as “evergreening” and “product hopping” to refresh their IP with slightly adapted versions of a branded drug. Even when companies’ patents theoretically run out, they will often use “pay-for-delay” schemes, essentially paying off competitors not to issue generic versions. The companies that flocked to psychedelia brought along teams of patent lawyers, setting off a land rush to lock up intellectual-property rights. Psilocybin currently has the largest sales potential because of the breadth of mental illnesses it can treat. It’s also closest to regulatory approval. That’s why it’s drawn a fierce patent fight.

Original Article (Prospect):
Rollups: the emerging magic mushroom monopoly
Artwork Fair Use: Budhavee S.N.A

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