The Commonwealth Fund: Public Good vs. Private Gain: The Role of Public–Private Partnerships in Drug
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) works with pharmaceutical companies to investigate and develop new treatments or cures. The rapid development of vaccines for COVID-19 is one example of how this kind of public–private partnership can work to advance the development of innovative medicines.
These partnerships, however, raise complex issues in terms of who owns the invention and who benefits from its commercialization. While Congress has previously enacted laws to address these questions, disputes keep cropping up, particularly around how much American patients should be charged for a drug their taxpayer dollars helped finance. This issue has remained in focus as policymakers, industry leaders, and advocates debate how to address the high cost of prescription drugs.