I think Ezra is being slightly unfair to Jim in this post re: pharmaceutical innovation. I’m guessing that Jim is well aware of the fact that not all new drugs are valuable. Rather, he’s suggesting that there are costs associated with excessive caution. I’ve often heard researchers note that it is hard to imagine aspirin being approved by the FDA, given its many dangerous side effects. That said, I totally agree with Ezra on Joseph Stiglitz’s idea prizes for effective cures and vaccines, a close relative of Michael Kremer’s call for patent buy-outs.
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