That seems like a pretty huge damn subsidy to me. And the fact that taxpayers subsidize the research and then come back and pay full price for the drugs seems like a rip off to me..especially with all the hugh and cry from seniors about prescirption drug prices.
During the campaign Ralph Nader brought that up but all the idiots from both parties kept on calling him a communist etc... I'm sure some government officials have some nice fat bank accounts in Switzerland like all the congressmen do.
Leave it to ABC News to not only win top honors in the category of "Most Fantastically Late to the Punch With An Old Story", but to fudge the numbers up to boot.
The NIH/NCI itself estimated the amount spent on the study and development of taxol to be in the neighborhood of $30 million since 1967 (including inflation), not this whopping $484 million cited by ABC News.
Which means the NIH/NCI has essentially made its money back from the $35 million in royalties (presuming ABC isn't fantastically off there, too).
Taxol has been a VERY profitable deal for Bristol-Meyers. It has only been 'a wash' for taxpayers. The NIH/NCI approved this deal including the median wholesale price of taxol. Bristol has complied fully with all obligations which the government required of it in the cooperative agreement.
If the taxpayers were 'slighted' in some way, blame it on the NIH/NCI, not Bristol-Meyers. The NIH/NCI essentially handed this fantastic deal to Bristol on a platter.
Hand me the rights to some drug like Viagra and watch me milk that puppy for all its worth.