The Role Of Pharmaceutical Companies In Global Health

Owen Barder, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, examines the relationship among aid donors, GAVI and pharmaceutical companies in a post on the center’s “Global Health Policy” blog.

“Of course it is important to bring down the price paid by developing country governments, to prevent high prices from excluding poor people from access to these life-saving products [vaccines]. We should do everything we can to bring down costs … But we should be very cautious about driving down prices merely by squeezing pharmaceutical companies harder. We have to weigh our pleasure from poking the rich and powerful in the eye against the enormous damage we will cause if we drive firms out of these markets. A much smarter if less satisfying approach is to use aid budgets to bridge the gap between reasonable returns to the pharmaceutical industry and prices that the developing world can afford” (6/21).