Why High Drug Pricing Is A Problem for Research Ethics

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (1):29-35 (2020)

Abstract

The high price of drugs is receiving due consideration from ethicists, policymakers, and legislators. However, much of this attention has focused on the difference between the cost of drug development and company profits and the possible laws and regulations that could limit a drug’s price once it reaches market. By contrast, little attention has been paid to the ethical implications of high drug prices for the research subjects whose bodies were essential to the drug’s development. Indeed, the future price of a drug is routinely ignored and treated as unknowable during the ethical evaluation of the clinical trials that support its development. In this paper, I will argue that ignoring the future price of a drug during the research process is in tension with all three of the major principles of research ethics: it fails to show respect for the research participants, undermines the quality of risk/benefit judgements made by ethical review committees, and makes it impossible to judge future patient access and assess justice.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,634

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-12-19

Downloads
15 (#703,660)

6 months
1 (#388,784)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

Pharmacogenetics: The Bioethical Problem of DNA Investment Banking.Oonagh P. Corrigan & Bryn Williams-Jones - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):550-565.
You Might Not Have Access.Pepe Lee Chang - 2013 - Theoretical and Applied Ethics 2 (1):93-102.
Community Equipoise and the Architecture of Clinical Research.Jason H. T. Karlawish & John Lantos - 1997 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 6 (4):385-.
Community Equipoise and the Architecture of Clinical Research.Jason H. T. Karlawish & John Lantos - 1997 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 6 (4):385-396.

Author's Profile

Spencer Hey
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Add more citations