It’s impressive to see the fast pace at which the biopharmaceutical industry and their partners in medicine and academia are working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. This dedication from researchers is no surprise as they have always responded quickly in times of crisis, whether it was for the Ebola, MERS or SARS outbreaks in recent years.
COVID-19 has changed our society – people are suffering, world economies have turned upside down and our life as we know it has changed forever. The treatment for COVID-19, when found, will bring a lot of value to society – but what price are we prepared to pay for this value? How do we make sure innovation in medicine continues to grow after this pandemic is over? And what incentives should society offer for current and future work in keeping us safe?
In a new article in the Health Affairs Blog, National Pharmaceutical Council Chief Science Officer Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, addresses these questions and lays out a roadmap to help us find the answers.
His article also offers a staunch counterpoint to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s premature report without stakeholder input on how to price remdesivir – an assessment that did not even consider return to work as a benefit to society and the economy.
Dr. Dubois calls for transparency in how we determine the value of a vaccine’s societal impact and asks us to consider the short- and long-term consequences of our actions.