Variable Market Exclusivity Periods for PharmaceuticalsMichael Hsu1, Ali Thaver2 and Gerard Anderson3*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Gerard Anderson
Department of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 04, 2016; Accepted date: March 15, 2016; Published date: March 22, 2016
Citation: Hsu M, Thaver A, Anderson G (2016) Variable Market Exclusivity Periods for Pharmaceuticals. Health Econ Outcome Res Open Access 2:111.
Copyright: © 2016 Hsu M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Pharmaceutical companies are given a market exclusivity period that does not vary based on the level of research and development (R&D) or the profits earned. The main purpose of this period is to protect the intellectual capital invested in a product allowing the inventor sufficient time to recoup the R&D costs and to be able to earn a profit. Currently, only 2 in 10 marketed drugs are profitable and drug companies earn substantial profits on only a few blockbuster drugs. As a result, there are many neglected diseases and drug companies charge very high prices for these few profitable drugs. These high prices can restrict access; for example, less than 10% of people with hepatitis C receive the appropriate drug primarily because of its high cost. A variable length market exclusivity period that takes into account a drug’s R&D cost (including the cost of all related products) and profits would provide greater incentives to invest in total R&D, R&D for a wider range of diseases and result in lower prices for expensive specialty drugs leading to greater access.