, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 692-694,
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Fact or Fiction: The Need for Independent Pharmaceutical Policy Research

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Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously said that people are entitled to their own opinions not their own facts. However, these days it seems that industry or think tanks can produce literature either in the form of research or expert opinion and then rely on the media and policymakers to repeat them to the point that they become well-known facts. For example, it is “well known” that the cost of creating a new drug is $802 million dollars.1 However, fewer people realize that this cost estimate for drug development is based on a non-random sample of ten companies for which the data is proprietary and thus not accessible by independent researchers.2 Furthermore, the research center that issues such reports is mainly funded by the pharmaceutical industry which would give most consumers of this research reason to pause. There are many such examples in the pharmaceutical policy arena. For example, it is “well known” that if drug prices were reduced pharmaceutical innovation in the US