Models for financing the regulation of pharmaceutical promotion

Authors: 
Joel Lexchin
Research Summary: 

Pharmaceutical companies spend huge sums promoting their products whereas regulation of promotional activities is typically underfinanced. Any option for financing the monitoring and regulation of promotion should adhere to three basic principles: stability, predictability and lack of (perverse) ties between the level of financing and performance. This paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of six different models. All these six models considered here have positive and negative features and none may necessarily be ideal in any particular country. Different countries may choose to utilize a combination of two or more of these models in order to raise sufficient revenue. Financing of regulation of drug promotion should more than pay for itself through the prevention of unnecessary drug costs and the avoidance of adverse health effects due to inappropriate prescribing. However, it involves an initial outlay of money that is currently not being spent and many national governments, in both rich and poor countries, are unwilling to incur extra costs.

Global Health. (2012); 8(24). Published online: 11 July 2012.  doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-8-24