The world needs a new mechanism to spur innovation. In this article, we propose one such mechanism: the US government should create a transferable exclusivity voucher program to motivate drug development for infectious diseases.
Under the program, the government would reward developers that create a treatment or vaccine for a pre-defined, neglected disease by issuing a voucher to extend the marketing exclusivity for a different, high-demand product. The voucher could be used or sold.
Two drugs would be involved with each voucher: the drug for which the developer receives the reward and the drug for which the developer receives extended exclusivity. The rationale for this approach is that the first product, for example, a malaria drug, is likely not profitable. Therefore, extending its exclusivity would not provide a meaningful incentive. Instead, the extended exclusivity would transfer to a different, more profitable product.
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