Monday, August 12, 1996
Access vs. profit
At the end of the day, the goal of drug development is to create therapies for disease and then get them into the patient. The latter half of this objective requires that patients have access to drugs when they need them, otherwise the first half of the objective is superfluous. One would expect that drug companies, patients and the public sector all would agree.
On the other hand, the goal of a drug company is to create therapies for disease and then make a profit for its shareholders. While the latter half of this equation is impossible unless patients have access to the company's drugs, the conflict with patients and the public sector comes in the profit-making objective.