Big Pharma's favorite academics and opinion makers


Patricia M. Danzon Danzon is the Celia Moh Professor of Health Care Systems, Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and a big favorite of the large US companies. Here is her faculty homepage at the University of Pennsylvania, and see also some samples of Danzon's work:

Henry Grabowski Grabowski is the Director of the Program in Pharmaceuticals and Health Economics at Duke University, and a frequent expert called upon by big pharma companies. Here is his faculty homepage from Duke University. He was a co-author of the 1991 article with DiMasi and others on the costs of drug development, and is involved in many different issues.

Joseph DiMasi: DiMasi is the Director of Economic Analysis of the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. His studies on the cost of pharmaceutical research and development are frequently cited. On November 31, 2001, Tufts released the results of his latest study (though not the study itself), which concluded that the average cost of the development of a new drug is $802 million. This is Joseph DiMasi's Bio, and the web page for the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development. Here is the Press Packet for the November 30, 2001 Study, which contains backgrounders on drug development and the methodology of the study. According to DiMasi, the *average* risk adjusted cost of just doing the clinical trials is $282 million before capital costs, and about $.5 billion after capital costs .... a ridiculous number, in our opinion, based upon easily accessible data on the costs (and risks) of actually running clinical trials. If you want to really know what it costs to develop a new drug, take a look at the excellent study the by the TB Alliance on the Economics of TB Drug Development."

W. Duncan Reekie. Associated with the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. A few samples of his work:

Doris Estelle Long. Long is Professor of Law, John Marshall School of Law, Chicago. Beginning in January 1999 Long conducted serveral workshops on intellectual property protection in the Dominican Republic, in an attempt to discredit proposed compulsory licensing provisions for pharmaceutical patents. In December 1999 Long presented the Dominican deputies with a detailed legal analysis of the proposed patent law. DOMINICAN CODIGO DE ORDENAMIENTO DEL MERCADO PROJECT AND THE TRIPS AGREEMENT. She is an advisor to the US Patent and Trademark Office, and co-author of the the Course Book in International Intellectual Property.

Henry I. Miller: Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Uncle Samís Vaccines: Do we really want a postal-service model for developing new medicines? November 26, 2001.

Attaran, Tren, Morris, Bate and various "free market" activists

Merck, Pfizer, GSK and other drug companies have supported the work of a group of "free market" activists who are attacking the NGO's working on the access to medicines issue, and supporting strong IP protections. The "free market" activists are true believes of strong property rights.

Richard Tren, Jullian Morris, Duncan Ruccie, and Rosalind Mowatt recently co-authored a book, Ideal Matter: Globalization and the Intellectual Property Debate. It was published by the Centre for the New Europe.

Amir Attaran: Attaran is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, but his main job has been to work for Jeffrey Sachs. Here is Attaran's faculty homepage for the Kennedy School of Government. Attaran is best known in the HIV community for co-authoring an updated version of Lee Gillespie-White's earlier paper on patents in Africa. The October 17, 2001, version, published in JAMA, is a standard big pharma hand out at meetings on patents and public health. The October 17, 2001, article, Do Patents for Antiretroviral Drugs Constrain Access to AIDS Treatment in Africa? in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 286 No.15.), has been roundly criticized on methodological grounds, and even more for the way it is used by Attaran and big pharma in policy debates, where the various cavaets and limitaiton sof the analysis tend to fall by the way side. This is an October 22, 2001 Interview by the Kennedy School of Government, One Expert's Opinion: Amir Attaran Says New Study Shows that Patents Are Not The Obstacle to HIV Treatment in Africa. PhRMA's page on patent on AIDS drugs provides typical spin for the article.

The basic thrust of the Attaran/Gillespie-White JAMA paper is that 172 patents on ARV products in Africa are not a barrier to treatment. Among the most patented products are combivir (37 countries), 3TC (33), AZT (17), abacavir (15), Nevirapine (25), Amprenavir (12), and Nelfinavir (24). Countries like Kenya and Unganda have as many as seven products under patent, and South Africa had 13. Most people who actually try to provide treatment think these patents present problems, because they block generic competition for many important ARV regimes that are cheap to manufacture and easy to use, including the new fixed dose combination products that you can only buy from generic suppliers. This is the October 16, 2001 CPTech, Essential Action, Oxfam, TAC and Health Gap joint Comment on the Attaran/Gillespie-White and PhRMA surveys of patents on Antiretroviral drugs in Africa, TAC/Nathan Geffen's September 28, 2001 Treatment Access Coalition. Open letter to Amir Attaran concerning the JAMA paper, and several letters to JAMA about the article, with Attaran and Gillepsie-White's response.

Attaran's interest in intellectual property issues has from time to time touched on other issues. This is his proposal in 1999 to pharmacetucial company executives to the "unfettered freedom of contract" to "bind future governments" to pay high prices for vacinnes, undermining thier ability to use compulsory licensing or other TRIPS safeguards. Here is a discussion of a talk Attaran gave a Harvard in March 2001 regarding the anticorporate agenda of activists who were criticizing the drug companies.

In the past Attaran has worked with Ralph Nader and also with the Sierra Club in Canada, and once was a member of an MSF working group on neglected diseases. Some of these associations have soured as he has embarked on various anti-NGO crusades. In recent years Attaran has worked with Richard Tren, Roger Bate and other "free market" activists, including mounting some surprisingly strident attacks on Greenpeace and other environmental groups over the inclusion of DDT in the POPS treaty, an issue where there was a serious disagreement, because of DDT'S utility in controlling malaria, a disease that kills many poor persons. In the POPS treaty, like the discussion over patent rights, Attaran supports the notion of greater aid from the developed countries, while often supporting business positions on patents or pesticide regulation.

Richard Tren: Tren advertises himself as the Director of Africa Fighting Malaria, a group which has fought regulation of DDT, where Tren worked with Attaran. Tren is also associated with many other organizations, including for example the International Water Management Institute, the International Policy Network, the (South Africa) Free market Foundation (for his work opposing tobacco control), and the (London) Institute of Economic Affairs, to mention a few.

Roger Bate. Bate is connected with a large number of groups, including the International Policy Network, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Consumer Alert (the Free Market Consumer Group), the Economic Affairs in London (Trading Ivory will Help Conservation, Malaria and the DDT Story), European Science and Environment Forum, Liberty Institute (India), and Working for Africa Fighting Malaria, to mention a few. He frequently collaborates with Richard Tren and Jullian Morris, and worked with Attaran on the campaign to exempt DDT from the POPS treaty on pesticides.

Jullian Morris Co-Director with Roger Bate of International Policy Network, also affiliated with the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, the Liberty Institute in India and other groups. Like Bate and Tren, Morris writes about a wide range of policy issues, from global warming and other environmental issues to patents and parallel trade. Here are a few of his articles.

Owen Lippert. Lippert has worked with the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Instituto Libertad y Desarrollo (Liberty and Development) in Chile.

John R. Graham: Graham is the Director of the Pharmaceutical Policy Research Centre at The Fraser Institute. He has published a number of papers on international price differences. His positions (as he wrote CPTech in an email) are "pro-IP, anti parallel importing, anti price controls, and anti government run prescription drug benefit programs."

Margalit Edelman: Research Fellow, the Alexis de Tocquerville Institute. The AdTI has has a program on Intellectual Property, for which Edelman's work is often featured.

Grace-Marie Turner: Founder, President and Trustee of the Galen Institute. This group focuses mainly on health issues, with a mission statement that reads: "Our goal is to expand public education about free-market ideas to invigorate a consumer-driven market for health services and increase access to affordable, privately-owned health insurance." When the group does address the issue of intellectual property, it is squarely on Big Pharma's side. There are a lot of colmuns posted on their site here. Some columns written by Grace-Marie Turner are listed below:

IPR Network

Other voices

Andrew Sullivan: Former editor of the New Republic.

Gerald Mossinghoff is a former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and a former President of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. He is also a Visiting Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the George Washington University Law School. NPR sometime quotes him as a professor and former government official, not mentioning he was the former president of PhRMA.

The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) was created by Bruce Lehman, the former chief of the USPTO, to push for higher levels of IP protection in developing countries. In December 2000, the IIPI published on the WIPO web page, Patent Protection and Access to HIV/AIDS Pharmaceuticals in Sub-Saharan Africa This paper was then updated and coauthored by Amir Attaran and IIPI's Lee Gillespie-White, as Do Patents for Antiretroviral Drugs Constrain Access to AIDS Treatment in Africa?, in JAMA. See the section on Attaran above for cites to the Attaran/Gillespie-White JAMA article. See also:

Hannah Kettler. Narrowing the Gap between provision and need for medicines in developing countries, Office of Health Economics (OHE), February 2000, available from OHE, 12 Whitehall, London SW1 2DY.

Richard Rozek: NERA.

PhMRA's list of Policy Studies Supporting PhRMA Principles for Health System Reform

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