Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Maybe philantropy is a better model for funding pharmaceutical research than return on investment

Egregious for sure. New hedge fund management in this pharmaceutical company raising the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Martin Shkreli is the Donald Trump of drug development.

They say they have to charge a lot to pay for research and development. I just got to thinking, there may be better ways to fund research than the standard "return on investment" model. How about philanthropy? Lots or research is funded by foundations and donations. Often donations from the very wealthy. For instance, if someone dies from a rare disease, money is often donated in that person's memory. Philanthropy might work better than pharmaceutical profits. Maybe it isn't good to view drugs as private investments, but rather investments in the public good.

Also, of course, there is government funding of research, but thinking about the philanthropy model is an avenue that's still kind of "free enterprise;" for those who are skeptical of turning everything over to government.

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