Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Patented Drug Turns to Gold (With lots of Government Help)

Steve Rattner has a provocative op-ed in the NYTimes today link here. It focuses on a drug maker, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which has found ways to make a "nothing" enterprise into a gold mine.

The company makes an orphan drug (one defined in law as a treatment for a condition affecting fewer than 200,000 people). It gets a 50 percent research-&-development tax rate and 7 (vice 5 years for other drugs) of market monopoly after FDA approval. Jazz raised the price so that a year's treatment costs $65,000 nominally, but then subsidizes the co-payments above $35 a month (essentially a price cut for those with health insurance). In any case, the company has proved to be enormously profitable, importantly by putting its patents in a subsidiary abroad where they are taxed very little. Indeed, total profits are currently reported to be 49 percent of sales.

The question for Jazz now becomes whether competitors will be induced to compete, lowering prices, once the 7-year tax cut expires. Price competition seems unlikely, since it currently has only 10,500 customers and a competitor would have to gamble that it can take market share from Jazz.

Question for taxpayers: how long will this ripoff continue?


The total profits of Jazz Pharmaceuticals for 2012 was about 30%. Jazz Pharmaceuticals then got an income tax benefit courtesy of the Irish government that bumped Jazz Pharmaceuticals total income to 49%. The 30% net profit margin is typical of many of the larger pharmaceutical companies that produce patent pharmaceuticals.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals will almost assuredly be unable to sustain the 49% margin because the income tax benefit is a temporary incentive.

Teva, which is one of the largest, if not the largest, generic manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, has a net profit margin of 10 to 15%.

Submit Comment

Blog Post


Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code



Most Recent Comments

Some history

Killing people with patents SYSSY

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rerwerwerwer

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy https://essaywritingsolutions.co.uk/

Your Compulsory Assignment for Tonight rerrerrr

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre

An analysis of patent trolls by a trademark lawyer

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,