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Children in need of medical innovation

  • Entorf, Horst
  • Fegert, Jörg
  • Kölch, Michael

Children are therapeutic orphans and an underprivileged group in innovations derived from drug therapy. As the innovation process of pharmaceuticals is a long, risky and very costly business, economists typically emphasise lack of profit incentives and small market size as the most important obstacles to child-related innovative activity. Moreover, as new drugs need to be tested in medical trials, there are ethical concerns leading to a climate of reluctance towards medical trials on persons who are not able to give their "informed consent". Particularly in Germany, due to various reasons, a rather restrictive legislation is to be assumed, characterized by the idea of putting the protection of the individual human being before a more utilitarian view. Thus, economic incentives, legal restrictions and ethical concerns seem to be responsible for the lack of innovative activity targeted at drugs for children, though social cost-benefit considerations (i.e. welfare analysis) would most probably predict a high gain from the introduction of critical innovations. Grounded on a highly interdisciplinary view based on medical, pharmaceutical, psychopharmaceutical, psychotherapeutic and economic research as well as on ethical restrictions, this survey aims at analysing channels of influence that might be helpful both in the analysis of the innovation process of drugs for children, and in improving the uncertain situation of pediatric therapy.

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Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 22605.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 135 (2004-07)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:22605
Note: for complete metadata visit http://tubiblio.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/22605/
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  1. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2003. "Growing by leaps and inches: creative destruction, real cost reduction, and inching up," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 13-42.
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  5. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G., 2003. "The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 151-185, March.
  6. Michael Kremer, 2002. "Pharmaceuticals and the Developing World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 67-90, Fall.
  7. Gillwald, Katrin, 2000. "Konzepte sozialer Innovation," Papers, Research Network Project "Work and Ecology" P 00-519, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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