Questioning the price of drugs

Drugs are a key component of most medical treatments. When their price is too high, getting treated may become  too much of a burden, for individuals and societies.

High drug prices, especially for those recently introduced in the market, are due to the monopoly  granted by patents and defended as a necessary incentive  to warrant continuous innovation by the industry. I find this arguable, and increasingly untenable.

I actually wrote about that a few years ago (shameless self-promotion alert): de Camargo Jr, Kenneth Rochel. “Science, knowledge, and society.” American journal of public health 101, no. 8 (2011): 1352.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a news item at the BBC’s website that basically gets to the same conclusion: “We need to move to a system where new drugs are priced as close to the cost of production as possible – and where innovation is paid for and rewarded separately. We need innovation and affordable access.”

I hope I live to see this, but I’m not very optimistic.


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