How Taxpayers Prop Up Big Pharma, and How to Cap That
When Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price for Daraprim by 5,455%, he put drug pricing on the agenda for the leading 2016 presidential candidates.
Everyone knows that Americans pay high prices for drugs. But there is more to this story.
The taxpayer not only shells out at the pharmacy but often plays a critical role in funding these drugs in the first place. In other words, the public pays twice. Big Pharma, while of course contributing to innovation, has increasingly decommitted itself from the high-risk side of research and development, often letting small biotech companies and the NIH do most of the hard work. Indeed, roughly 75% of so-called new molecular entities with priority rating (the most innovative drugs) trace their existence to NIH funding, while companies spend more on “me too” drugs (slight variations of existing ones.)
But if Big Pharma is not committed to research, what is it doing? Where is the money going?
Read the full article here.