Open sourcing pharmaceuticals

What will those crazy open sourcerors think of next? :-)

If there's any industry that likely thinks itself immune from open source, it's the pharmaceutical industry. Laden with heavy research and development costs, how can the industry essentially give away its products and still earn a decent return?

A new organization,, thinks that it can be done. The goal is to free up all the intellectual property that isn't actively being used by pharmaceutical organizations:

Farmavita.Net has recently started the project named "Farmavita.Net - Open Source Pharmaceuticals". The project is targeted to development of sharing of know-how for manufacture of essential and life saving medicines. It is mainly dedicated to the countries with less developed economies where local pharmaceutical production is insufficient for national needs.

It will be limited to generic medicines with established use. By the definition, medicinal product have a "well-established use" if is used for at least 15 years, with recognized efficacy and an acceptable level of safety. In that event, the expensive clinical test and trial results could be replaced by appropriate scientific literature. Beside safety of medicine, it is also important that risk of third party patent infringement is minimized with such older products.

I imagine this won't be welcome news to Merck, Johnson & Johnson, etc. But if it succeeds then these established pharmaceutical companies will simply learn to adapt much as the enterprise software vendors have. Regardless, if it ends up helping the end users of the drugs, who cares what the incumbent vendors say?

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne