Public-Private Partnerships as Models for New Drug Development

Public-Private Partnerships as Models for New Drug Development

Public-Private Partnerships as Models for New Drug Development: The Future as Now

by Frederick M. Abbott

in The Cambridge Handbook of Public-Private Partnerships, Intellectual Property Governance, and Sustainable Development, pp. 29-45, eds. M. Chon, P. Roffe & A. Abdel-Latif (Cambridge Univ. Press 2018)

The international community is searching for ways to improve the system under which new pharmaceutical treatments, vaccines and diagnostics are discovered, developed and distributed. The predominant model relying on patents and regulatory market exclusivity, combined with pricing power, is creating enormous public and private budgetary pressures, and at least arguably is misallocating research and development (R&D) resources. The monolithic vertically integrated pharmaceutical originator is largely a myth. The drug discovery, development and distribution process has long involved a wide rangeof participatory arrangements, with basic discovery, follow-on research, translation and manufacturing technology functions distributed across in-house and external actors. A main distinguishing characteristic of the pharma originator company is its profitdriven motivation, as compared with alternative models such as Public–Private partnerships (PPPs) and product development partnerships (PDPs) that are motivated in other ways. Each of these models already has a substantial public or nonprofit financing component.

The question explored in this contribution is whether and how PPPs and PDPs should become a more significant part of the global pharmaceutical development and distribution system. The chapter begins by describing the current model of pharmaceutical R&D, including the blurry boundary between public and private R&D. Following this is a section surveying some current PPP and/or PDP models of R&D, and analyzing the advantages and limitations of PPPs and/or PDPs. The next part connects the R&D activities of these partnerships to capital markets and investment incentives in the R&D of public goods. This part of the chapter discusses the potential role of PPPs and/or PDPS as part of a delinkage of R&D from production and distribution functions. The chapter concludes that further experimentation with PPPs and PDPs is warranted.t