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if somebody came up with a cure for cancer, couldnt they put a patent on the cure and sell it for billions...?

of dollars to big companys like Blue Cross\Blue Sheid? that would not be illegal would it? i do not belive they would be breaking any laws would they? how many millions of dollars has been invested into finding a cure for cancer? and still no cure? i find that hard to belive! i smell a conspiracy!

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, they could patent it and sell it for billions. However, the patent would only be valid with the US/other subscribing countries, so it is likely offshore clinics would be started. The Medical Brass is there to make money; it will be costly everywhere because its an inelastic market (use or die).

    Keep in mind that cancer is just an umbrella term for any overly-divisive cell. We are not talking about one disease. We are talking about thousands, if not more.

    Billions have probably been invested. I'm betting you've never been involved in research. There is a reason why we don't live forever and have flying cars. The stuff takes TIME.

    For example, doing a protein assay (to find mutated surface protiens) using electrophoresis in my old lab took anywhere between 12 and 24 hours. We could determine the concentration of like two or three protiens before we had to run a new gel. Now, consider that, applied to DNA (which took like a decade or two to just map, let alone comprehend) and all the protien derivatives. There are faster methods, but most labs can't afford them.


    There is no conspiracy. If there were a cure for all cancers, it would be on the market. It might be selling at a million bucks a pop, but it would be there nonetheless.

    Basically, get off your anti-corporate high-horses and face the facts. Don't be ungrateful; the people researching are breaking their backs. Why don't you go work in a cancer research lab? There is no conspiracy.

    Nature had 4 billion years to obfuscate the problems. We have had less than fifty years to get the untangled.

  • 1 decade ago

    When dealing with cancer no matter what type it maybe, I don't feel that the word "cure" is appropriate because it is a condition that requires a method of treatment. Unlike a virus, which is a foreign object running rampant in your body that can be killed with the popping of a pill, cancer is your own body working against you. It is speculated that eventually treatments will be available such as gene therapies to correct the cells in your body that are malfunctioning and multiplying out of control. So my answer to the question is yes, if a treatment is discovered and patented I would guess that individuals and/or companies would profit off of it.

    A great article to read on the subject can be found in a past edition of Wired magazine found at this website:

    TSSA!, said it best progress is just too slow and research is really expensive. All that said the best "cure" so far is prevention and early detection, which most doctors and medical institutions already charge for.

    Source(s): person experience/research
  • 1 decade ago

    There are many different types of cancer, each having its own unique biological behaviour and genetic mutation profile. A single cure for cancer would be a wonderful thing, but the disease is not that simple. It is much more likely that targeted cures will be developed for specific cancers, each designed to target some molecular feature particular to that type of cancer.

    For example, a vaccine against cervical cancer was recently developed. This vaccine protects against infection with the most common subtypes of human papilloma virus that causes cervical cancer. Trials showed it to be 100% effective against the virus subtypes that it protects against in preventing cervical cancers and pre-cancers (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia).

    Another drug, Herceptin is used to treat breast cancer patients that have tumours that make large amounts of a surface receptor called HER2. The drug is an antibody that specifically targets this receptor on the tumours. There are some other drugs also available to treat other tumours with specific mutations.

    The development of these drugs is a very lengthy process, which can easily take over 15 years from the intial idea, to testing in the lab, to clinical trials and then approval for therapeutic use. This is not only time consuming, but also a very expensive process, particularly the clinical trials phase where the drug has to be shown to be safe for patients to use and also to be more effective than existing therapies. There is no guarantee that your idea will work - it may be that after 13 years of work it is found that the drug causes an unexpected side effect an is not safe for use. For all of the drugs that make it to be used, there are many many more that fail in the process. This is a very expensive process costing many millions of dollars.

    It is absolutely legal for somebody to patent a cure for cancer and it is legal for them to sell their cure for a large amount of money. This recognises the work required to make such a discovery and protects the intellectual property involved, enabling the person to be reimbursed for their efforts.

    The drugs may initially very expensive, and may not be freely available through our pharmaceutical benefits scheme. It is not uncommon for new drug to cost several thousand dollars per year, which can be extremely distressing. There is a finite amount of money that can be spent on the PBS, and I don't envy the people that have to decide what is in and what is not. Hopefully if a drug is particularly effective there will be increased pressure for such a drug to be subsidised. For example, this happened with Herceptin in October last year (see link).

    Hopefully somebody clever enough to find a cancer cure might use some of these funds to try and cure some other diseases too!

  • 1 decade ago

    I think if there were honestly a cure for cancer, no company would be allowed to sell it for billions just to benefit the rich. The FDA would do testing and take the formula and have the government manufacture it if necessary. Personally, I think it would be made affordable anyway.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I dont think so, cause if it is something that big (a cure for cancer) the FDA will want to check it out before it goes on the market.

  • 1 decade ago

    they found a cure, but they just don't want to help the people with cancer live

    its ignorant of them isn't

    i bet it is something sooo simple that we use/or have a way to purchase overcounter(probally cheap products), but they don't want to tell us, so that way they can keep getting millions of dollars from the meds that don't help cancer-like radiation

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if elitist republicans ran the white house yes

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