What Do Drug Companies Owe Patients?
Friday, April 1, 12-1 p.m.
22nd CPSNL Medical Ethics Public Lecture. Pharmaceutical companies on average invest $1.3B to develop a new drug. But they aren’t the only entities that invest time, capital and welfare in this arduous effort. Patients do as well, when they volunteer for clinical trials. In this talk, I will argue that drug development depends on a large volume of sustained volunteer labor on the part of patients who participate in trials (and the caregivers who support their participation). I will further argue that, for the most part, this labor is uncompensated. Uncompensated, this volunteer labor engenders a set of moral obligations. Namely, societies (and the companies pursuing this research) have obligations to act as trustees of this gift of volunteer labor. I will close by describing how various policies around drug regulation and pricing can help steward patients’ subsidy of drug development.
Presented by Office of Professional and Educational Development