Neglected Infectious Diseases: Are Push and Pull Incentive Mechanisms Suitable for Promoting Research?

31 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011 Last revised: 10 May 2013

See all articles by Frank Mueller-Langer

Frank Mueller-Langer

University of the Bundeswehr Munich; Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; European Commission, Joint Research Center

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Date Written: July 15, 2011

Abstract

Infectious diseases are among the main causes of death and disability in developing countries, and they are a major reason for the health disparity between rich and poor countries. One of the reasons for this public health tragedy is a lack of lifesaving essential medicines, which either do not exist or badly need improvements. In this article, we analyze which of the push and pull mechanisms proposed in the recent literature may serve to promote research into neglected infectious diseases. A combination of push programs that subsidize research inputs through direct funding and pull programs that reward research output rather than research input may be the appropriate strategy to stimulate research into neglected diseases. On the one hand, early-stage (basic) research should be supported through push mechanisms, such as research grants or publicly financed research institutions. On the other hand, pull mechanisms, such as prize funds that link reward payments to the health impacts of effective medicines, have the potential to stimulate research into neglected diseases.

Keywords: neglected diseases, essential medicines, R&D incentives, push and pull mechanisms

JEL Classification: O31, O34, O38, K32

Suggested Citation

Mueller-Langer, Frank, Neglected Infectious Diseases: Are Push and Pull Incentive Mechanisms Suitable for Promoting Research? (July 15, 2011). Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law Research Paper No. 11-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1853235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1853235

Frank Mueller-Langer (Contact Author)

University of the Bundeswehr Munich ( email )

Munich
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Munich
Germany

European Commission, Joint Research Center

Seville
Spain

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