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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Pricing Clinical Research in the Canadian Industry

The Canadian federal and provincial governments have shown a considerable interest in pharmaceutical R&D, including basic and applied research. Federal agencies have measured both types of research using a cost-of-production approach, including expenditures on materials, supplies, and labour and depreciation on capital. They have used these basic measures to gauge the resources that were used by industry to achieve progress in innovation. Other benefits can be derived from R&D, especially from clinical (patient-included) research and clinical trials. In industry-funded clinical research, companies pay for both the medicines and clinical services provided to the trial enrolees, replacing both public and private payments. The cost concepts that are used to measure the market impact of pharma R&D are very different to those used in government policy documents.

The importance of the market concept of ‘replacement cost’ is that it provides an indicator of the degree to which industry ‘subsidises’ healthcare through its clinical research, including publicly funded care. This concept has largely been lost when considering the role of industry in the healthcare system.

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Dr Dat T Tran is a pharmacist by training and has a PhD in health services and policy research, as well as a master of science in pharmacy from the Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Vietnam, master of public health from the University of Sydney, Australia, and a PhD at the University of Alberta, Canada. His research interests lie at the confluence of health and economic perspectives of decision-making against a backdrop of limited healthcare resources.

Dr Ilke Akpinar has a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Ankara, Turkey, and has completed a paediatric surgery residency at the University of Akdeniz, Turkey. She has a master of science in health policy research, specialising in health economics from the School of Public Health, University of Alberta. She has over five years of applied research experience in Canada, with more than 10 years of clinical experience as a paediatric surgeon in Turkey. Ilke’s research interests include health outcomes and health services research, with a particular interest in the cost of clinical trials for medical devices and pharmaceuticals, economic evaluations for chronic diseases, and screening programmes.

Dr Philip Jacobs is a Professor of health economics in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada. He received his PhD in economics from the University of York, UK, and was a Cost Accountant. Philip’s research is in the area of healthcare finance and economic evaluations of drugs, vaccines, and medical devices. He was the codeveloper of the healthcare costing document for the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and has conducted economic evaluations of clinical trials for vaccines, cancer drugs, intensive care, and neonatal intensive care.
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Dr Dat T Tran
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Dr Ilke Akpinar
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Dr Philip Jacobs
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