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The respective roles of the public and private sectors in pharmaceutical innovation
Date:12/17/2011

NEW YORK -- Research conducted by Columbia Business School Professor Frank Lichtenberg, Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business, Finance and Economics, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program, and Bhaven Sampat, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, identifies the respective contributions of direct and indirect government support in research and development of new pharmaceutical drugs. Although industry supplies the bulk of the funds devoted to research and development, the public sector primarily the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports most of the nation's basic biomedical research. The research, recently featured in Health Affairs, finds direct government funding to be important to research and development for the most innovative new drugs, which typically proceed through the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) "priority-review" process for approval. However, direct government funding is less important for research and development of so-called standard-review drugs that proceed through the FDA's normal review process. The researchers' analysis can help determine the merits of various policy proposals, such as those that would attempt to recapture a share of drug profits and return them to the government through recoupment or march-in authority. March-in proposes that taxpayers should not have to pay twice for publicly funded research once through taxes, and once through monopoly prices or restricted access to drugs.

The paper focuses on patents for drugs approved between 1988 and 2005. The analysis studies a range of publicly available data from federal agencies including the Patent and Trademark Office, the National Library of Medicine, the FDA, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Of the 478 drugs in the sample, 379 were covered by at least one patent. There were 1,073 distinct patents on these 379 drugs
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Contact: Sona Rai
sr2763@columbia.edu
212-854-5955
Columbia Business School
Source:Eurekalert

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