Should we give tax breaks to companies developing drugs for rare diseases - Essay Example

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However, because of the miniscule size of afflicted, the companies decline to do so. It will not be financially conducive for them to delve into it because of…
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Should we give tax breaks to companies developing drugs for rare diseases
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Should We Give Tax Breaks to Companies Developing Drugs For Rare Diseases? There are minor diseases which get “orphaned” because only a small portion of the worlds population suffers from it. However, because of the miniscule size of afflicted, the companies decline to do so. It will not be financially conducive for them to delve into it because of the small return on investment on something that could cost the company billions of dollars to produce. Which is why the government should offer taxpayer support for the research and development of these drugs. Pretending the illness does not exist, will not magically create a cure for the afflicted. It will only hasten their death. Since it is within the power of the government and tax payers to prevent these deaths by offering tax support, then so be it. After all, they would want the cure if they were afflicted with the minor, yet life threatening illness themselves. Creating an orphan drug is more of a labor of love for these companies because the return on investment is slow. However, the government, under the “Orphan Drug Act” provides tax breaks to companies like Genzyme, who create these kinds of drugs. That tax break alone helps ease the burden of r&d cost for the company. As such, the company can pass on the savings to the patients who do not have to pay unrealistic costs for the drugs because the company can afford to sell the drugs directly to the doctor specialist in almost all cases.
The sentiment against the use of tax money in r&d for orphaned drugs do so under because the actual cost and length of time spent on the development the drug remains unknown and debatable to the tax payers. The taxpayers would rather that the tax money go to subsidizing healthcare for many instead. However, the needs of few will also affect the many because research into orphan drugs sometimes turns up valuable information or advancements for current medical drugs as well. Therefore, it has a payback appeal in a certain way. However, collaboration between small and large pharmaceutical companies is not an option because the big companies will be concentrated on quick ROI and the integration of their current crop of products in the orphaned drug. In other words, the small companies will be forced to play the big game because they are being financed that way, even though that is not the main concern of their research.
Having read all the articles that accompanied this paper, and based upon the results of my own research readings, I will have to support the move to use taxpayer funding for the orphaned drugs and rare disorders research. The reason is quite simple, if the small pharmaceutical companies do not do it, who will? They honestly want to help that neglected portion of society but lack the means to do so. Then we should help them help those who cannot help themselves. It all boils down to a humanitarian act. Read More
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