Therapeutic progress in recent decades has made a major contribution to reductions in mortality and has extended control to the symptoms of many chronic diseases. Thus developments in chemotherapy and immunisation have combined with economic, social and environmental improvement to bring about the restructuring of mortality profiles illustrated in Figure 1.
The Office of Health Economics has recently widened its scope to take a special interest in the health care problems of the Poor World, with particular reference to. the role of medicines.
As a contribution to the discussion in this area, OHE is publishing this paper, which was delivered by Dr Arnold Warlock of The Wellcome Foundation Ltd at the 11th Assembly of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations in Washington in June 1982.
Unlike the great majority of OHE publications, this paper was not researched and written 'in-house'. It is a minimally edited translation of a study prepared in German by Dr Klaus Leisinger of the Swiss company CIBA-GEIGY. Hence its style, and at certain points its interpretation, differs from that of OHE; yet as regards the basic sentiments expressed OHE fully supports the line taken.
This paper was originally written for the benefit of a single pharmaceutical company. However the company agreed when it was commissioned that it should be made generally available once it had been studied within that company, and this publication is the outcome.
In his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which was first published in 1776, Adam Smith placed special emphasis on the assertion that the ultimate purpose of producing any good (or service) is to meet the needs of its consumers. The economists of Western Europe and North America who have built on such thinking over the past two centuries have developed it into what is often referred to as the theory of consumer sovereignty.
Conference of Scottish Pharmacists, Aviemore, 21 November 1982.
The aim is to do two things. First, to put the experience with benoxaprofen into a broader and cooler perspective. Secondly, to spell out a theoretical framework from which to develop a more rational attitude towards "adverse reactions" in the future.
This is the second in an occasional series of Pharmaceutical Industry Papers to be published by OHE. The first concerned prices; this second paper is concerned, by contrast, with the costs of pharmaceutical innovation.
This study by Keith Hartley and Alan Maynard is based on a survey which they conducted amongst major pharmaceutical companies in Britain during 1980. It clearly identifies costs arising from the 1968 Medicines Act, in terms of money, manpower and delays.
The promotion of an environment in which the multinational research-based pharmaceutical industry can flourish has been and will continue to be reliant upon a well-informed and widely-disseminated understanding of the economics underpinning its complex operations. Throughout the 1970s OHE has played an important part in this 'educative' process with specific investigations into areas such as the nature of competition within the industry, the use of brand names in prescribing and the role of sales promotion.