The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 173–177 | Cite as

Discussion point: should governments buy drug patents?

  • Juan del LlanoEmail author
Pricing and Reimbursement Systems in Europe


Between just 1995 and 2003, the number of new chemical entities fell from 45 to 25, while the costs increased by two and a half times in the same period. Firms in the USA accounted for more than half of biotech drugs from 1982 to 2003. European firms are losing competitiveness. In this hostile environment for investment in pharmaceutical R&D, providing quick access to market for real innovations is the main challenge for regulatory agencies. More initiatives, more entrepreneurial spirit and easier work regulation are needed to facilitate the growth of firms in this field, especially in emerging economies like the Spanish. A new open source model proposes the use of pre-competitive public platforms formed by young and qualified human capital carrying out research in areas not sufficiently attractive for private initiatives, followed by the introduction of pharmaceutical companies to carry out the clinical research. The last step would be fast and effective approval by assessment agencies. Governments should, therefore, facilitate the regulation of socially effective innovations, bringing in manufacturers to take part in the post-clinical trial period after entering the market. The gathering of incentives between regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical industry must be approached through innovation and authorization stimulating systems.


Drug patents Innovations Regulatory agencies 



To Joaquím Camprubí, Vanessa Campo, Luis Angel Oteo, Juan Gervás, Paloma Fernandez-Cano, Alberto Oteo, Joan Rovira, Vicente Ortún, Ricard Meneu, Salvador Peiró, Álvaro Hidalgo, Guillem López y Timm Volmer, Felipe Martín for the stimulating comments to previous drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gaspar Casal FoundationMadridSpain

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