Pharma Gets Incentives to Make Kids Cancer Drugs
Thanks to a Texas Congressman, pharmaceutical companies will get a big incentive to start producing drugs for treating cancer in children. These are "orphan drugs" which the drug makers stopped making because they couldn't make money from them, but that should change soon.
The Houston Chronicle reports President Barack Obama is ready to sign a bill that will offer multimillion-dollar incentives to get drug companies to make medications for rare childhood diseases that afflict too few kids to make a profit.
The bill was sponsored by Congressman Mike McCaul (R-Austin). McCaul says he introduced it because since 1980, the FDA has approved dozens of new drugs to combat adult cancers, but only one drug for treating childhood cancer.
McCaul's bill will give pharmaceuticals something they've wanted forever. Companies that make drugs for pediatric cancer will get faster FDA review of new and potentially more profitable drugs, and increase their profits up to $500 million dollars a year.
This is the oldest strategy in the book. If you want someone to do something they don't want to do, make it worth their while to do it. The old "carrot and stick" approach works every time.