Patents in the US healthcare industry

Malcolm Gladwell on drug prices in the US.

AstraZeneca twenty-six billion dollars on Prilosec. The patent was due to expire. AstraZeneca decided on a subtle piece of chemical reengineering, creating a single isomer version. The new drug was called Nexium. The F.D.A. gave its blessing, and Nexium hit the pharmacy shelves priced at a hundred and twenty dollars for a month’s worth of pills.

But the article goes on to show that the US drug industry isn’t necessarily overpriced.