Des médicaments en libre source ?

LONDRES – Beaucoup d’attention s’est focalisée ces dernières années sur la lenteur de l’industrie pharmaceutique à développer de nouveaux médicaments et sur son manque de productivité. Mais la crise de l’innovation affecte aussi les sociétés de biotechnologie, vecteurs de développement de nouveaux médicaments pour les grandes sociétés pharmaceutiques.

Cela a suscité un examen de tous les aspects de la recherche biomédicale et du processus de développement, à un moment où les sociétés tentent de réduire les coûts et d’améliorer l’efficacité et la productivité. Il en a résulté des fusions, des réorganisations et la perte de dizaines de milliers d’emplois. Aucun de ces changements ne semble cependant avoir généré le bouleversement radical nécessaire à la survie et à la prospérité des entreprises.

A quoi devrait ressembler un tel bouleversement ? Certains préconisent d’abandonner complètement le système actuel de brevets sur les médicaments et de financer la R&D par les impôts ou par des systèmes de récompenses. Une autre approche pour résoudre les problèmes d’innovation – adoptée par le secteur des logiciels informatiques, par exemple – serait une ouverture et une collaboration précompétitive.

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