The value of undiscovered pharmaceuticals in tropical forests
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Previous estimates of the potential value of higher plants in tropical forests for Pharmaceuticals are too high because analysts mistakenly used gross revenues to value drugs instead of net revenues. Correcting this error, we estimate each new drug is worth an average $94 million to a private drug company and $449 million to society as a whole. Given recent experience searching for new drugs, we estimate that the higher plants in the world’s tropical forests contain about 375 potential pharmaceuticals of which 48 (about one in eight) have already been discovered. Multiplying these values by the number of potential new drugs suggests that a complete collection and screening of all tropical plant species should be worth about $3–4 billion to a private pharmaceutical company and as much as $147 billion to society as a whole.
- Abelson, P. H. 1990. Medicine from plants. Science 247:513. CrossRef
- Balick, M., and R. Mendelsohn. 1992. The economic value of traditional medicine from tropical rain forests. Conservation Biology 6:128–139. CrossRef
- DiMasi, J., N. Bryant, and L. Lasagna. 1991. New drug development in the United States, 1963–1990. Clinical Pharmaceutical Therapeutics 50:471–486.
- Duke, J. 1987. Economic impact of botanicals. Pages 1–5in L. Grant, ed., Proceedings of second national herb growing and marketing conference. Purdue Research Foundation, W. Lafayette, IN.
- Farnsworth, N., and D. Soejarto. 1985. Potential consequences of plant extinction in the United States on the current and future availability of prescription drugs. Economic Botany 39:231–240.
- Gentry, A. 1993. Tropical forest biodiversity and the potential for new medicinal plants. Pages 13–24in A. D. Kinghornand M. F. Balandrin, eds., Human medicinal agents from plants. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.
- Grabowski, M., and J. Vernon. 1990. A new look at the returns and risks to pharmaceutical R&D. Management Science 36:804–821. CrossRef
- Grimes.A., S. Loomis, P. Jahnige, M. Burnham, K. Onthank, R. Alarcon, W. Palacios Cuenca, C. C. Martinez, D. Neill, M. Balick, B. Bennett, and R. Mendelsohn. 1994. The value of tropical forests: a study of nontimber forest products in the primary forest of the Upper Napo Province, Ecuador. Ambio 23:405–410.
- Hansen, R. 1979. The pharmaceutical development process: estimates of development costs and times and the effect of proposed regulatory changes. Pages 151–191in R. Chien, ed., Issues in pharmaceutical economics. DC Heath Co., Lexington, MA.
- Maille, P., and R. Mendelsohn. 1993. Valuing ecotourism in Madagascar. Journal of Environmental Management 39:213–218. CrossRef
- OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). 1993. Pharmaceutical R&D: costs, risks and rewards, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
- Oldfield, M. L. 1989. The value of conserving genetic resources. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.
- Pearce, D., and S. Puroshothaman. 1993. Protecting biological diversity: the economic value of pharmaceutical plants. CSERGE, University College, London.
- Peters, C, A. Gentry, and R. Mendelsohn. 1989. Valuation of an Amazonian rainforest. Nature 339: 655–656. CrossRef
- Reid, W. V. 1993. A new lease on life. Pages 1–52in W. V. Reid, S. A. Laird, C. A. Meyer, R. Gamez, A. Sittenfeld, D. H. Janzen, M. A. Gollin,and C. Juma, eds., Biodiversity prospecting: using genetic resources for sustainable development. World Resources Institute, Washington, D. C.
- Sharma, N., R. Rowe, K. Openshaw, and M. Jacobson. 1992. World forests in perspective. Pages 17–31in N. Sharma, ed., Managing the world’s forests. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA.
- Soejarto, D., and N. Farnsworth. 1989. Tropical rain forests: potential source of new drugs? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 32:244–256.
- Tobias, D., and R. Mendelsohn. 1991. Valuing ecotourism at a tropical rain forest preserve. Ambio 20:91–93.
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1992. Global biodiversity: status of the earth’s living resources. Chapman and Hall, London.
- The value of undiscovered pharmaceuticals in tropical forests
Volume 49, Issue 2 , pp 223-228
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- tropical forests