September 28, 2021

EP. 232 — Has Our Medicine System Expired? with Priti Krishtel

America’s first medical patents date back to the 1790s—and patents still inform our every prescription, vaccine, and pharmacy run. This week on Getting Curious, Priti Krishtel joins Jonathan to break down the basics on medical patents. Why do they exist? Who do they serve? And how equitable are they?


Priti Krishtel is a health justice lawyer and co-founder of I-MAK, a non-profit building a more just and equitable medicines system. She has spent nearly two decades exposing structural inequities affecting access to medicines and vaccines across the Global South and in the United States.

You can follow Priti on Twitter @pritikrishtel. I-MAK is on Twitter @IMAKglobal and at

Find out what today’s guest and former guests are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Priti Krishtel JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by Priti Krishtel, where I ask her: How has our medicine system expired? Welcome to Getting Curious, this is Jonathan Van Ness. I’m so excited to welcome to our show Priti Krishtel. You are a health justice lawyer and you also co-founded I-MAK, which is a nonprofit building a more equitable medicines system. That is a big, hard job that you are doing. PRITI KRISHTEL [00:00:38] So thanks for having me, Jonathan. It is a big job. It’s a big job. And there’s a lot of us doing it. The access to medicines movement, we’re all over the world, and there are people in every continent who are fighting for a more just medicine system so that treatments and vaccines and testing reaches e

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