I believe shortening the life of patents for new medicines would be an acceptable way to trim medical spending. I believe those in the medical field need to stop seeking major profits. The major goal of health care should be to help society, not profit from it. There's no reason to give medicine advances protection for so long, this system has been abused by the industry.
There is no denying that shortening the life of patents for medicines would lower total medical spending. However, it would also lower the amount of spending that pharmaceutical companies put into research and development. The less money there is to be made from developing new drugs, the less willing companies will be to take on the financial risk of developing new drugs.
Intellectual property laws are good for inventors and it seems that they are not good for consumers. Why would we believe that these laws are not good for consumers? Well, if the product weren't restricted then it would be more available and more affordable, at least this is what many argue. But ask yourself this, 'Would there be as many medicines if the incentives that patents provide weren't available?'
No, shortening the life of patents for new medicines would not be an acceptable way to trim medical spending, because we still have to allow the companies that develop them to profit. Our current patent system is working. There is no reason to fix what is still turning out new medicines.