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Stagnation in the Drug Development Process: Are Patents the Problem?

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  • Dean Baker

Abstract

The rate of new drug development has stagnated, in spite of large increases in both private and public sector spending on biomedical research. The flip side of slower progress is higher drug costs. The cost of developing new drugs has been rising at an average real rate of more than 7 percent since 1987. This report considers the ways in which government patent monopolies distort incentives so that pharmaceutical companies may not opt to minimize research costs. It documents some of the perverse incentives created by patent monopolies in drugs.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean Baker, 2007. "Stagnation in the Drug Development Process: Are Patents the Problem?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-07, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2007-07
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/healthcare_stagnation_2007_03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G. & Lasagna, Louis, 1991. "Cost of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-142, July.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dean Baker, 2007. "Celebrating Pork: The Dubious Success of the Medicare Drug Benefit Health Insurance for the Elderly," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-08, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    2. Paul Grootendorst, 2009. "Patents, Public-Private Partnerships or Prizes – How should we support pharmaceutical innovation?," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 250, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly

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