How To Motivate Drug Development For Infectious Diseases

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How To Motivate Drug Development For Infectious Diseases

Published date

May 18, 2022

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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Duke-Margolis Authors

Beth Boyer, MPH photo

Beth Boyer, MPH

Policy Research Associate

Andrea Thoumi

Andrea Thoumi, MPP, MSc

Health Equity Policy Fellow
Senior Team Member
Anti-Racism and Equity Committee Member
Core Faculty Member
Adjunct Assistant Professor
2020 Intern Mentor

David Ridley

David Ridley, PhD

Dr. and Mrs. Frank A. Riddick Professor of the Practice of Business Administration
Margolis Executive Core Faculty