A full-pull program for the provision of pharmaceuticals: Practical issues

Public Health Ethics 1 (2):134-145 (2008)
Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), Menzies Centre for Health Policy, The Australian National University, LPO Box 8260, ANU Canberra ACT 2601, Australia. Tel.: +61 (0)2 6125 4355; Mobile: +61 (0)431 124 286; Fax: +61 (0)2 6125 6579; Email: michael.selgelid{at}anu.edu.au ' + u + '@' + d + ' '//--> Abstract Thomas Pogge has proposed a supplement to the standard patent regime whereby innovating companies would be rewarded in proportion to the extent to which their innovations lead to reduction of the global burden of disease (GBD). This paper argues that an expansion of this proposal—whereby provision of already existing medicines are incentivised in a similar way—would provide a more comprehensive solution to the healthcare situation in developing countries. It then considers the practical challenges that the implementation of such a proposal (expanded or otherwise) would entail. Though these include difficulties associated with disease burden metric, I argue that the most serious difficulties are associated with the problem of causal attribution. A basic idea underlying Pogge's proposal is that the disease burden reduction attributable to particular interventions can be determined. Theoretically speaking, in cases involving multiple interacting causal factors, there may be no fact of the matter regarding the extent to which disease burden reduction should be attributed to one intervention as opposed to another; and (even if workable practical solutions to this theoretical challenge can be met) the data requirements for implementation would be daunting. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/phe/phn022
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