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.
A lecture, on the economics of developing new drugs, particularly in relation to whether this should be a national or private enterprise. I have chosen to address myself to a more positive issue. This is the extraordinarily fruitful way in which the relationship between the privately owned pharmaceutical companies and the government and universities has evolved in Britain and a few other countries. This evolution has resulted in a partnership which has been remarkably effective in developing, assessing and introducing new methods of preventing and treating disease.
The Office of Health Economics was invited to make a contribution to the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the ABPI. This booklet is our response. In it we have broadly surveyed British pharmaceutical progress through the last fifty years. We have had to do so within limits of space and time which have constrained our text in two main aspects.
Since this monograph was completed, two new stories concerning the safety of medicines have been featured prominently in the British press. The first has been on an American legal case in which damages have been awarded because a medicine taken during pregnancy was alleged to have caused congenital malformations. The second has been based on the fact that the benzodiazepines, when taken for prolonged periods in high dosage, may carry the risk of causing dependency.
In the financial year 1976-77 over £220 million was spent on health care research in the United Kingdom. Taking account of recent expenditure growth and making an allowance for less readily identifiable contributions it may be estimated that total health care research spending is currently approaching the £300 million mark. In real terms this is an almost twofold increase on the £80 million (£172 million at 1976 prices) recorded at the beginning of the decade.
It has not normally been OHE policy to reprint articles which have previously been published elsewhere. However, it seemed desirable to make an exception for this paper by Dr Klaus von Grebmer which has been published in two parts in German in Die Pharmazeutische Industrie. This is because it is a useful compilation of many arguments relating to pharmaceutical pricing, which deserves to be available in the English language as well as in German.
To present a balanced view of the brand name/generic controversy and the associated field of bioavailability. Many have discussed these problems; scientists, politicians, industrialists, legislators, hospital pharmacists, physicians, and clinical pharmacologists.