Curated Story
Priti Kishtel
Source: I-MAK

An Entrepreneur's Quest to Fix Drug Patents and Save Lives

This article originally appeared on Forbes

By allowing “patent walls,” U.S. policymakers create incentives for pharmaceutical companies to chase profit alone, even at the expense of public health and scientific innovation. But Ashoka Fellow Priti Krishtel, co-founder of I-MAK, an organization that has worked in 50 countries and saved health systems more than $2 billion, has a blueprint to restore the integrity of America’s patent system to incentivize progress. Krishtel explains the relationship between patents and drug affordability.

Priti Krishtel

Ashoka Fellow since Mar 2020

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Ashoka insight

The industry's reputation is abysmal. Covid presents an opportunity to turn that around. Honestly, our collective survival depends on them doing the right thing rather than being shackled to the market. But without incentives they're not going to move in the direction that we need them to. We have a huge moment of opportunity right now to reimagine the system to incentivize research on public health, not commercial, grounds.

I want to get to the heart of the system. This is intergenerational work, it takes many years and many people. The connective tissue between movements is getting stronger. There’s a word I really like from architecture and biology—tensegrity—which means a kind of mutually supportive construction of things that are both independent and essentially related. That is what we’re beginning to see happen across and between movements that are working for a more equitable world.