NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 22, 2021—The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must mandate the disclosure of clinical trial costs funded through its offices and agencies in order to shed light on where public funding is going and to ensure that new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics—including those for COVID-19—are priced fairly, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Monday.
“Disclosing what these companies and other drug developers are spending on clinical trials as part of the research and development (R&D) process would help people and governments better determine and negotiate what a fair price should be for urgently needed medical products,” said Dana Gill, US policy advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign.
It’s critical to know the cost of these clinical trials because pharmaceutical corporations justify high drug costs by pointing to the cost of R&D to bring a drug to market.
“In reality, much of the research relied upon for drug development is funded by taxpayers, and pharmaceutical corporations incur much of their R&D costs during the clinical trial process,” said Gill. “The development of COVID-19 vaccines has shown the world how public funding is the actual driver of medical breakthroughs.”