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I recall reading about a 20th century scientist who made a life-saving drug that could have patented it and made millions. He chose not to and saved the lives of millions around the globe.

I thought it was Frederick Banting - but it doesn't sound quite right.

None of the others in this list seem quite right.

My question is: What is the name of scientist who discovered lifesaving drug and chose not to patent it?

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    $\begingroup$ It's just possible that you are thinking of the failure to patent hybridoma technology. Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein developed this at the MRC lab in Cambridge, and won a Nobel prize. Milstein was probably philosophically opposed to patenting, but the failure to do so was essentially a bureaucratic decision. It's an interesting story. $\endgroup$
    – Alan Boyd
    Apr 24, 2014 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ Patenting may not always be for earning profits. Patent also protects an invention form others who intend to make a profit out of it. I don't think any researcher became rich by selling drugs- it is the pharma companies that set high margins between the production and market price and make millions of dollars from other's illnesses (and in most cases the product is not developed by their R&D) $\endgroup$
    – WYSIWYG
    Apr 25, 2014 at 5:26

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Dr Jonas Salk or Dr Albert Sabin who did not patent their respective polio vaccines. There are some more such researchers so I am not sure who exactly you are looking for but this would be a start.

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You could've been thinking correctly. Banting did patent insulin but felt it was unethical to profit from such a critical drug. He sold the patent for a dollar to a (now nonexistent) pharmaceutical company.

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