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Are multinational pharma firms justified in pricing life savings drugs exhorbitantly?

MNCs claim they spend billions and billions of dollars on research and development to make life saving drugs and that they are forced to charge exhorbitantly high prices in order to stay in business. The flip side of this argument is that such drugs are out of reach for the poor and that profit should not be the sole motive for being in the business of wellness, and that cheaper variants of the drug should be made available to the poor by other companies that have the technology to make them. What is your view? Are the MNCs justified or are they just interested in profits, working as they are in an industry where the consumer -- the patient -- has little choice?