Re: Nice one judge
Damn right, it is total bullshit.
I'm in the toxicity prediction software business and I know for a fact that software is hardly used at all. Some of that is down to old-school (out of date) thinking on the part of synthetic and medicinal chemists, and even worse the actual decision makers. Most of it is down to the software just not being that good at modelling actual biological pathways.
Big pharma is failing because their business model sucks, but take away their patent protection and as soon a company develops a compound someone else will start producing it at a fraction of the cost. The companies that actually have R&D departments will die in no time. Remember that a patent submission contains the exact chemical structure of the drug. So once it's published anyone with a fairly rudimentary lab would be able to synthesis it.
Incidentally, there are such things as orphan drugs. They're cheaper to take to market because they're aimed at diseases that big pharma wouldn't normally touch (the sufferers are too poor), but they get more patent protection, not less. Otherwise not even small well-meaning companies could afford to tackle the disease.