Thinking Big: Paying for Drugs According to their Health Impact
I just read about a report recently released showing that investments to prevent malaria – specifically, bed nets, spraying, and drugs – are saving lives. This gives hope that a continued investment in prevention and treatment efforts for malaria and other diseases can help the millions of people around the world who are dying for lack of affordable access to life-saving products.
The Health Impact Fund is one proposal focusing on the affordability and access of life-saving medicines, as well as on innovation for new drugs. I want to share the proposal with the CHMI community to get your suggestions and support for the concept. In particular, the on-the-ground knowledge of people in this community of health markets in developing countries would be extremely helpful to us as we move forward.
The Health Impact Fund would be a long-term funding source, supported by governments, and pharmaceutical companies would have the choice to register medicines and agree to sell those medicines at cost. Companies would then be rewarded according to the drug’s health impact.
With the Health Impact Fund, pharmaceutical companies would be incentivized to put research and development into drugs that will have a large impact on human life but that wouldn’t sell at high prices. Companies would be rewarded based on health impact and wouldn’t be reliant on high prices to recoup their costs. Patients would get access to products for all types of diseases for which there currently are no treatments or the treatments are too expensive.
This proposal is a large-scale idea, and so we plan to launch a smaller pilot to prove the concept. We plan to partner with a country and a company to deliver a needed drug cheaply in a particular region, assess its health impact, and make payments based on the drug’s health impact.
We are looking for suggestions from readers on suitable drugs, interested companies and country leadership, and funders that may be interested. If you have any suggestions, please contact us at email@example.com.