A Reform Proposal in Need of Reform: A Critique of Thomas Pogge's Proposal for How to Incentivize Research and Development of Essential Drugs
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Public Health Ethics 3 (2):167-177 (2010)
In two recent essays, Thomas Pogge addresses the question of how research and development of essential drugs should be incentivized. Essential drugs are drugs for diseases that ruin human lives. The current incentivizing scheme for such drugs is, according to Pogge, a significant causal factor in bringing about a state of affairs in which millions of people die or suffer from lack of access to essential drugs. Pogge, therefore, suggests a reform plan for how to incentivize research and development of these drugs, and he is of the opinion that implementation of this plan will have a significant positive impact on the global disease burden. This paper is a critical examination of Pogge's reform plan. In the first part of the paper, Pogge's reasons for being dissatisfied with the current incentivizing scheme are spelled out. The reform plan is then presented, and in the final part of the paper, it is argued that the reform plan is flawed at a number of levels
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