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How public goods like drugs become private income streams

Medicine
ZhangXun
/
Getty Images

The federal government puts a lot of money--the people's money--into research that leads to lifesaving drugs.

But when the drugs get final approval and land on the market, the intellectual property rights are usually owned by big companies that charge top dollar for the drugs.

Alexander Zaitchik asks why, in his book Owning the Sun: A People's History of Monopoly Medicine from Aspirin to COVID-19. Zaitchik, a freelance journalist, covers all angles of the story, from corporations to congress and most places in between.

He joins us for an overview of the situation.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.