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Baker, 2016 Publicly Funded Clinical Trials: A Route to Sustained Innovation with Affordable Drugs

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http://cepr.net/images/stories/reports/publicly-funded-trials-2016-03.pdf

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Altostrata

Hi, WH. Please follow the format for posting in Journals -- see the topic pinned at the top of this forum.

 

If you quoted what you thought was important from this document, it would be more likely you'd get a conversation going.

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Altostrata

Publicly Funded Clinical Trials: A Route to Sustained Innovation with Affordable Drugs

By Dean Baker*

Center for Economic and Policy Research

March 2016

Submitted to the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines

 

Abstract

The current system of financing pharmaceutical research through patent monopolies or other forms of market exclusivity is fundamentally flawed. It creates an altogether unnecessary problem by making drugs that are cheap to produce extremely expensive to the patients who need them. The fact that most of the cost is borne by third party payers undermines the traditional argument for market prices as conveying information about households’ desires. This system of pricing also leads to the sort of waste and corruption that would be predicted from a system in which government granted monopolies lead to items being sold at prices that are typically several thousand percent above their cost of production.

 

This proposal outlines a plan for a pilot project of public financed clinical trials. Under this proposal, government(s) would set aside a limited amount of funding to finance clinical trials and bring drugs through national approval processes. This funding would be awarded under long-term contracts (8– 10) years on a competitive basis. The winners of the contracts would test promising compounds of their choosing in the areas where they have designated an interest. As a condition of getting the funding, all the results of the tests will be fully available to the public. In addition, whatever drugs are approved would have no exclusivity conditions, so they could be sold as generics.

 

In addition to making potentially important new drugs available to the public, this pilot will set a model for transparency in research. The practice of disclosing all test results in a timely manner should pressure other pharmaceutical companies to adopt the same practice. In addition, since the contracts and the number of trials will all be public information, this project will also provide substantial insights into the cost of clinical trials and drug development.

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