If the government spends 5 out of every 6 dollars spent on medical research, then there is no reason to pay the excessive monopoly rents that they extract from out economy.
But there is also a moral argument, and it is that the large pharmaceutical firms are ineluctably evil.
We have yet another example of this when we discover that they colluded with the government of East Germany to turn their citizenry into unwilling Guinea Pigs:
Major Western pharmaceutical companies carried out tests of medications in the 1980s on patients in communist East Germany, in some cases without the subjects’ knowledge, a media report said Friday.The taxpayers front ⅚ of the money to do the research, but out of some sort of need to "set the free market loose, we give away the property rights so that they can extract monopoly rents.
“We have documents showing there were contracts between Western drug companies and East German institutions for medical tests,” a staff member at the German national archive told AFP, partially confirming a report in the daily Der Tagesspiegel.
The newspaper, which examined the documents, reported that more than 50 Western firms had contracts with East Germany’s Health Ministry to carry out a total of 165 medical tests between 1983 and 1989.
In exchange, the communist authorities were paid up to 860,000 deutschmarks (around 430,000 euros today or $567,000), according to the report, at a time when East Germany was desperate for hard currency.
Der Tagesspiegel said the companies involved included Bayer, Schering, Hoechst (now Sanofi), Boehringer Ingelheim and Goedecke (today owned by Pfizer).
It said the test subjects often were not informed, citing seven specific cases in which patients said later they had been unaware they were involved in testing. The national archive said it could not confirm this.
This is an industry that exists only through the grant of exclusive rights by the government. This is not free enterprise.
We need to make sure that if the taxpayers pay for the research, then the taxpayers own the research.