Nothing in Dan Liljenquist’s background suggests a desire to upend the generic drug industry.

He is a Republican businessman who believes in free market capitalism. He hails from the conservative state of Utah. And as someone who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, he concedes that medicines produced by the pharmaceutical industry, as currently constituted, saved his life.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • This maybe new for the US but such companies (as aptly put in the article where the social mission is subordinate to the financial one) is seen in Asia. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka (and India quite some time ago) are some of the examples – all the companies are owned by the state. A return on investment is not required but the companies should be self-sustaining and not expect subsidies from the government. They should also compete in a level playing field with the private sector, with no concessions to being a state run organisation; the same criteria for registration of medicines applies. These companies have been successful as controlling factors in the market when they have been properly managed and with a focus on ensuring quality affordable generic medicines.

    Good to see the high income countries learning from the middle and low income countries – there was also a proposal in the UK for the government to manufacture a specific range of generic medicines to combat the same problem that the company in the US is trying to combat.

    So welcome to the world of the social mission of the government providing health care as well as affordable medicines – it has been a long time coming but the low and middle income countries have had a much shorter journey. Health is one of the most imperfect markets – not said by far leftist rebels but by the World Bank and even that in the 1990s.

Comments are closed.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy