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Improving Access To Medicines Should Require Rethink Of Pharmaceutical R&D Funding

The Guardian: The cost of drugs is killing us. How can we foster access for all?
Mihir Mankad, health policy adviser on access to medicines and vaccines at Save the Children

“…During the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, this [drug] price problem was relegated to the developing world, where people could not afford the prices paid for antiretrovirals in wealthy countries. Now, however, the high cost of many medicines is just as alarming for rich countries. … There is a more fundamental question: is there a better system for creating incentives to produce life-saving medicines priced at a level that means they can reach everyone? … The solution requires reform of the way that medicines are priced so that investments in R&D are separated from what companies charge. Delinking, through alternative models such as providing prizes instead of patents, would allow generic competitors to enter the market immediately while maintaining the rewards necessary to spur innovation. Research by Save the Children examines this and other potential solutions that would address which medicines are made, as well as high prices. Many of these would work not only in poorer countries, but also in wealthier ones…” (5/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.