Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Discussion of Health Impact Fund This Thursday, April 9

A presentation on the proposed Health Impact Fund (HIF), a pay-for-performance mechanism designed to reduce the cost of advanced medicines without stifling innovation, will be held at Yale Law School Thursday, April 9, at 4 p.m. in Room 127. The event is sponsored by Yale's MacMillan Center and the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. It is free and open to the public.

To be funded primarily by governments, the HIF would give participating pharmaceutical companies the option to register any new drug for compensation. The companies would promise to make the registered drugs available at the lowest feasible cost of production and distribution wherever they are needed. In exchange, they would receive annual reward payments based on the global health impact of the drugs during their first ten years. An international, interdisciplinary team is working to specify the operating mechanism of the Fund.

“Among other benefits, the HIF would foster innovation to address illnesses concentrated among the poor, such as tuberculosis and malaria, because innovators cannot recover their research and development costs from sales to the poor,” said Yale Law School Visiting Professor Frank Pasquale ’01, who will participate in the discussion. “But with the option of an alternative reward based on health impact, these neglected diseases would become some of the most lucrative R&D opportunities.”

Other event participants include philosopher Thomas Pogge and economist Aidan Hollis, who will summarize the HIF proposal. Harvard Law Professor Terry Fisher and Professor Pasquale will comment on the issues in intellectual property and health regulation raised by the proposal.

For further details on the Health Impact Fund, including a downloadable book-length treatment, visit www.healthimpactfund.org.