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Financial Innovation (Collection) by Franklin Allen, Glenn Yago, James R. Barth

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7. Financing Cures

Science has entered a thrilling new era. Study of the human genome has brought us tantalizingly close to discoveries that can reduce suffering and save lives. But translating research into real treatments is a tortuous process that requires major long-term investment and no small risk of failure.

At the very moment when profound new breakthroughs seem to be within our grasp, there has been a precipitous decline in financing for early-stage biomedical research. This constraint is first and foremost a tragedy for those individuals who are waiting desperately for cures. It is also a factor that limits productivity gains in the global economy and keeps developing nations mired in poverty.

Large pharmaceutical companies, with their ...

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