Patents are granted for 20 years, but pharmaceutical companies cannot use their patent-guaranteed monopoly powers for anywhere near this long because it takes several years to acquire Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) approval of drugs.
What purposes do barriers to entry created by the government serve?
What are other barriers to entry in the pharmaceutical industry?
Should drug patents be extended to 20 years after FDA approval?
Explain what would be the costs and benefits from this extension.
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