iMed research is working on alternative funding mechanisms for pharmaceutical research and development. The following outlines our motivation for this project:
Situation: Medicines are expensive to research and cheap to make and millions of people need them. Meanwhile funding mechanisms are not directly linked to health impact, profits are based on prices, and the existence of monopoly patents supports prices well above the cost of manufacture.
Complication: Monopoly patents fund innovation through high prices. This creates an inevitable tension between access and innovation. Patents deny access to medicines for millions of people through high prices and a lack of innovation in non-profitable areas, and fail to incentivise for health impact or efficiency of research and manufacture.
Question: What funding mechanisms can replace the tension between innovation and access inherent to the patent system; thereby incentivising innovation based on cost effective health impact, providing incentives for innovation as high as today, and enabling access at close to the cost of manufacture?
We have broken this core question down into three main areas:
For a full list of our research questions, see our research questions page.