A question that bothers healthcare policymakers a great deal is the one on how to fund pharmaceutical research. It is not an easy question to deal with. That is because, on one hand, medications are ‘public goods’ whose availability guarantees the wellbeing of many people. Yet, on the other hand, medications are ‘private goods’ in the sense that they are mass produced by pharmaceutical companies, which go ahead to make huge profits from them. Yet if pharmaceutical research is left entirely in the hands of commercial interests, something is bound to go wrong. These, after all, are individuals who only care about profits. So it becomes a difficult issue.
All said and done, there are 3 key ways in which we can finance medications research.
- Through the patents model: here, it is the pharmaceutical companies that finance the medications research. Then any company whose research leads to the discovery of a new drug is allowed exclusive rights to sell that drug for a certain period of time. In that period of time, it gets to recoup its investment and make a nice profit.
- Through grants that are backed by taxes: so in this case, public funds are used to finance medications research – especially in areas where the patent model hasn’t worked well due to lack of commercial viability.
- Through grants that are backed by philanthropists’ funds: because the philanthropists are always looking for good causes to support, they can be encourage to direct some of their money to medications research.
The most important thing here is to ensure that the research for new medications is a vibrant and ever ongoing enterprise. You know, just as people are always applying for credit cards at www.getmyoffer.capitalone.com, so is it that robust medical research should be an ongoing, robust enterprise. Granted, undertaking the research for a new drug is not as easy as writing a capital one mail offer review. But there are people who have a passion for these sorts of venture: individuals who wouldn’t mind running 24-7 research enterprises, leading to the production of the new medications that people need for their wellbeing.