Pharmaceutical costs

The pharmaceutical industry has long been one of the most profitable global industries, but its critics say it is too profit-oriented, pricing its drugs out of reach of the world's poor, inventing illnesses, not doing enough research and relaunching largely unchanged medicines at higher prices.

by IESE Insight
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

The industry takes advantage of the priority given by many governments to intellectual property rights over access to health rights, it is claimed.

Illustrating its generally bad reputation, a study of industry references in US newspapers found the number of unfavourable mentions more than double favourable ones.

However, the big companies claim their prices reflect product development and costs: bringing a drug to market can cost EUR350 million-EUR800 million and take up to 15 years. The author calls for a more constructive dialogue aimed at bringing agreement on a regulatory framework.

Do drug companies deserve their bad reputation?
Domenec Mele,
IESE Insight, June 2006

Review by Steve Lodge

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