Why are drug prices so high? Investigating the outdated US patent system

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of drug patents granted in the United States doubled — but not because there was an explosion in invention or innovation. Drug companies have learned how to game the system, accumulating patents not for new medicines but for small changes to existing ones, which allows them to build monopolies, block competition and drive prices up. Health justice lawyer Priti Krishtel sheds light on how we’ve lost sight of the patent system’s original intent — and offers five reforms for a redesign that would serve the public and save lives.


This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.