If government funds are used to support drug research, should drug companies have a duty of public disclosure regarding research costs?
The cost of developing a new drug has been estimated to be more than $1 billion whether the funding contributed directly or indirectly. Development of this scale involves multiple financing mechanisms, as well as the involvement of numerous partners throughout the process. The principal investors in drug development differ at each stage. While basic discovery research is funded primarily by the government and by philanthropic organizations. The period between discovery and proof of concept, however, is considered extremely risky and therefore has been difficult to fund.
Government initiatives have been undertaken to overcome the funding gap and in my personal opinion drug companies have a duty of public disclosure regarding research cost. These disclosures give some assurance that the prescribed medications, therapies, or devices recommended by physicians provide the best options for patients and the public’s health. Patients should know whether their physician has received payments from pharmaceutical or medical device companies, especially when they have been prescribed expensive drugs when a less expensive drug that is just as effective is available. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars on their representatives to “educate” physicians on the many wonders of their drugs. Pharmaceutical companies’ representatives pay for items such as food for the physicians’ offices and staff; lavish dinners for the physicians, tickets for sports events, theater, and in return, the physicians are expected to prescribe the drugs manufactured by the representative’s pharmaceutical company.
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