To the Editor:
The author lazily conflates market exclusivity granted by patent (as per the U.S. constitution) with barriers to market competition erected after the patent's expiration. Neither Shkreli's Turing Pharaceuticals (in the earlierDaraprim episode) nor Bresch's Mylan (in the EpiPen episode) had done the R&D on the product. Each was gouging the public on a drug that had long been in the public domain, but which enjoyed post-patent barriers to market competition.
The U.S. patent system is a clever Enlightenment-age invention that lets the market reward innovation and disclosure, enabling competitors to duplicate a new product or process and drive the price to the fair level--after a period of protected exclusivity. Although current U.S. IP law does not work in some sectors (e.g. software) it continues to underpin investment and innovation is other sectors of the U.S. economy (e.g. drug research). It has no part in the price gouging of Shkreli and Bresch.
Barry Haskell Levine