At present, the development of new medicines is driven by the reward of temporary market exclusivity. When a new medicine is protected from generic competition, its profit-maximizing price inevitably prevents a large proportion of the world’s population, including many in affluent countries, from purchasing it. As a result of this incentive system, (1) people suffer and die needlessly, and (2) research is focused on those medicines from which investors can make the most money, rather than on those that would lead to the greatest improvements in human health.
The Health Impact Fund would help to reduce all these problems.
The HIF, proposed by the non-profit organization Incentives for Global Health, would be financed by governments and offers patentees the option to forego monopoly pricing in exchange for a reward based on the health impact of their medicine. By registering a patented medicine with HIF, the firm would agree to sell it at cost. In exchange, the firm would receive, for a fixed amount of time, supplementary payments based on the products assessed health impact. Registering with the fund would be optional, and the fund would not diminish patent rights.
Currently, IGH is in talks with various pharmaceutical companies and governments regarding pilot projects that would test the HIF proposal from every angle.
- Test the ability of reimbursement based on health impact to create sufficient incentive for firms to invest in activities that increase impact.
- Identify challenges for reliably evaluating health impact in a marketed setting in a manner that can be calibrated directly to reimbursement to the innovator.
- Clarify the minimum for required variables to measure impact across different populations and medicines.
If you are interested in getting involved with Incentives for Global Health, contact Jake Hirsch-Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.