Medical Market Failures and Their Remedy

  • James Robert Brown
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 274)


There is a general consensus that market-based medical research has failed in some places, in particular, in diseases of the poor and in diseases that afflict very small numbers of people. With no profits to be made, there is no motivation for research. These are known as market failures. Advanced Market Commitments (AMCs) have been proposed as ways of coping with the former. Governments and other public agencies provide prize money and reward anyone who finds, say, a vaccine for pneumococcal disease. Similar government stimulus is called for to address the problems of so-called orphan diseases. These proposals will, if carried through, improve the current state of medical research and delivery, but they still far short on several key points. The problems are discussed and a proposal to socialize all medical research and remove intellectual property rights is explained and defended.


Rare Disease Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Market Failure Orphan Drug Pneumococcal Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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