English (United States)
Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has enhanced the length and quality of human life. The industry has been widely criticized for emphasizing immediate profits over innovative R&D and for wasteful promotional spending. Through an analogy between the pharmaceutical and the illicit drug industries, I build the case for government regulation of both industries to promote social welfare. I identify practices in the prescription drug industry that waste resources on similar follow-on drugs that could instead be invested in innovation for the public welfare. I conduct case studies of three pharmaceutical markets: gastrointestinal disorders, depression, and erectile dysfunction. While follow-on drug development frequently is wasteful, it sometimes adds benefits. Analysis of data compiled from industry and scholarly analyses implicates excessive marketing as the driver of wasteful follow-on drug development. Marketing appears to be designed to induce irrational demand, similar
Leuchter, Richard Kemper, "From Cocaine to Viagra: A Social and Economic Analysis of the Pharmaceutical Industry" (2012). Honors Theses - All. Paper 939.
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