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TRIPS

As stringent new budgets have led to pharmaceutical companies cutting back, a certain concern and scepticism has risen over the high prices charged by drug companies, their continued problems with productivity, and falling success rates of new drugs. A significant drop in investment in drugmaking companies, and president Obama’s recent reforms of the healthcare system in the USA, feel like a precursor to change in a sector that traditionally relies on older products and philosophies, rather than innovating.

In a recent issue of the Journal of Generic Medicines, world-renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz and economics professor and Roosevelt Institute fellow Arjun Jayadev examine pharmaceutical R&D from a fresh economic perspective.

Stiglitz and Jayadev put forward the argument that current models of pharmaceutical drug discovery have major inefficiencies, and suggest four different policies to address them. They propose meaningful, realistic plans and pricing models to minimise costs to the public sector, maximise positive social impact and remedy the irrationalities in the current system.

Progressive and unafraid of controversy, the article’s arguments for how to improve pharmaceutical R&D are a must-read for anyone in the industry, as well as academics, policy-makers, stakeholders and members of government.

The article is available on the Journal of Generic Medicines website.