Derek Lowe has something to say to the folks who claim that all the "real" research on pharmaceuticals is done in universities, and drug companies just steal the ideas and monetize them:
There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that a modern economy drives innovation. People tend to think in terms of a "eureka!" moment--a blockbuster idea or product that springs full blown from the head of Zeus, and then exists forever. But in fact, an enormous amount of productivity improvement is driven by tiny, continuous, incremental change. This is true of treating childhood cancer, it is true of drug discovery, and it is true of Toyotas.
Nobody said all innovation was done by the government. Nobody said that all drugs are discovered in a Eureka! moment. Nobody said drug companies just steal government innovations. There are no links because nobody is making those claims. McArdle is just linking to someone making unsupported accusations so she can pretend the drug companies are victims of vicious lies.
Remember when she found out that her inhaler was now less effective because the manufacturer monkeyed around with it so they could claim it was a new product? Incremental pharmaceutical innovation at work!