The patent system was developed independently in 15th century Venice and was expanded upon to include temporary monopolies in 17th century England. By the 1860’s many had begun questioning the effectiveness of the patent system, and recent research has backed up the claim that patents stifle innovation. The pharmaceutical industry has been one of the biggest defenders of the patent system by arguing it is needed to recoup the exorbitant costs of drug R&D and clinical trials. Often, drug companies only get a few years to recoup their investments; this forms the basis of their defense of the patent system. However, this research demonstrates that our current patent system encourages these companies to pursue the development of drugs for people that are not likely to survive their diseases in the first place, leaving a those that could be cured out to dry.