Therefore we ask:
- The government to protect the interests of British people, protect our National Health Service and intervene to reduce the price of medicines.
Our health system – therefore our health – is in danger. The Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP, must do everything in his power to lower prices and especially use compulsory licences.
- For transparency in research and development costs.
The sale price of medicines must enable firms to cover their R&D costs without making excessive profits which would make them less affordable. This “reasonable profit” imperative presupposes transparency on the real cost of R&D as firms tend to use this excuse as an argument for inflating prices.
- An alternative to patents as a funding mechanism for research and development.
Pharmaceutical companies patent their therapeutic innovations as these patents give them a twenty-year monopoly on their products and prevent the production of more affordable generic versions.
However, most firms spend more time working on improvements to existing products than innovating and creating new compounds. Big firms’ innovation strategies are more and more oriented towards buying up promising start-ups who develop new effective compounds for them.