IHP news 478 : Access to medicines

By on July 13, 2018

Lancet (Viewpoint) – Health, transatlantic trade, and President Trump’s populism: what American Patients First has to do with Brexit and the NHS

H Jarman, M McKee et al; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31492-2/fulltext

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he promised to stand up to pharmaceutical companies and, once in office, to adopt measures that would reduce drug prices. After inauguration, he repeated these claims. In May, 2018, the US Department of Health and Human Services published American Patients First, a blueprint for how President Trump might achieve his goals via a series of regulatory and policy actions….”

Cfr the press release:  The Lancet: UK-US post-Brexit trade deal risks increased drug prices, and may threaten the NHS

A trade deal between the UK and USA could risk increasing drug prices in the UK, which could diminish the affordability and accessibility of the NHS, according to a Viewpoint published in The Lancet. “

This viewpoint nicely coincided with the Donald’s visit to the UK.

Health Policy Watch – Study Shows Pharmaceutical Industry Investing In Basic Research, Some Questions Remain Open


Basic research in health is often conducted by public universities or institutions, and public health activists have underlined the view that because research is funded by public money, medicines should not be so highly priced. A new study by an independent economic research institute shows that the pharmaceutical industry is a substantial partner in research activities and its investment in basic research is growing. The study, however, falls short of providing answers to key questions such as what is included in research and development figures, or what kind of basic research is conducted….”

FT Health – China vows to accelerate cancer drug price cuts


Trump probably thinks: time for a new episode in the trade war with China. He might even get some help from the Swiss this time : )

China has vowed to speed up cuts to the cost of cancer drugs in a move that threatens to dent revenues in the country for multinationals such as Eli Lilly, Roche and Novartis….” “…Officials will “accelerate price cuts” for cancer treatments, the Communist party-run People’s Daily reported over the weekend. The news comes after China slashed the cost of dozens of overseas drugs by as much as 70 per cent after price negotiations last year. The report coincided with the release of a box office-topping film about patients forced to smuggle cheap generics, adding to pressure on drugmakers in the country….

International Journal of Health Services – How Does Stronger Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Affect National Pharmaceutical Expenditure? An Analysis of OECD Countries

Y Jung; http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0020731418786095

Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection for pharmaceuticals has been comprehensive and strict since the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995 and the subsequent implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. This study investigated the relationship between the level of IPR and national pharmaceutical expenditure using panel data of 22 OECD countries from 1970 to 2009….” “…The regression analysis results showed that the level of IPR protection was significantly correlated with pharmaceutical spending even after controlling for various factors that affect pharmaceutical expenditure. The results were consistent in OLS regression and GLS regression. However, the effect of IPR was stronger and more significant in countries with a relatively small-sized pharmaceutical market than in those with big market. Many developed countries incur a financial burden due to rapidly growing pharmaceutical expenditure; therefore, the results of this study present the possibility that stronger IPR would produce welfare loss in developed countries.”

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