European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 61–85 | Cite as

The market of human experimentation

  • Roberto Ippoliti


How should experiments on humans be regulated and controlled? Is it possible to create an equilibrium between the optimal protection of patients’ rights and all the other interests involved? This paper analyzes the problem from a Law and Economics point of view and tries to develop a theoretical model that would provide a way to achieve that equilibrium, both in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, a model in which the interaction between different parties can lead to a market where information is exchanged for innovation. This paper is based on work that has been done up to now by other sciences, like medicine and bioethics, treating the issue with an alternative approach in order to propose an oversight system able to give an answer to this unsolved problem. This work is mainly aimed at defining the rules of the market in Europe, including its actors and their interactions using both a normative and a positive approach. Both the behavior of rational people and that of bounded ones are analyzed, as well as the strategies that can be applied against the latter by stronger parties. Finally, the public stakeholder’s role in preventing this from happening is analyzed.


Pharmaceutical R&D Human experimentation Institutional Review Board Informed consent Intellectual property rights Medical researcher and research subject 

JEL Claasification



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Real Collegio Carlo AlbertoMoncalieri, TurinItaly

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