Therapies Out of Reach: Anticancer Drugs and Global Trade Regimes
Author(s)Banerjee, Dwaipayan; Sargent, James
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Medical policy analysts and oncologists have cautioned against the high price of anticancer drugs. They argue that the current drug development model that relies on patents and short-term shareholder value is proving unsustainable, since the cost of the new generation of drugs puts many of them out of reach for the average consumer. The high price of cancer drugs is especially troubling in the context of middle- and low-income countries, where the burden of cancer carries disproportionate impact. To analyse the pricing of anticancer drugs, we examined legal controversies, regulatory treaties and documents, as well as the history of pricing data in India. We also conducted interviews with policy consultants and surveyed financial data filings of major global and Indian pharmaceutical corporations. Our research revealed that global trade agreements have become key barriers to lowering anticancer drug prices. This article argues that in the shadow of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) imminent, serious policy changes are necessary to ensure the survival of generic production in the market for anticancer drugs.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society
Science Technology & Society
Banerjee, Dwaipayan, and James Sargent. “Therapies Out of Reach: Anticancer Drugs and Global Trade Regimes.” Science, Technology and Society (May 2018): 097172181876290.
Author's final manuscript