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In response to rising drug costs, advocacy groups in the U.K. are pushing the government to make medicines that are developed with taxpayer funds more accessible. And in a new report, they suggest the U.K. government take steps that activists in the U.S. have also begun to demand.

Specifically, the U.K. groups argue the government ought to require drug makers to disclose R&D costs and licensing terms for medicines that are discovered with taxpayer money. Licenses should include provisions that somehow guarantee patient access. And prices should not automatically be linked to R&D costs incurred by companies.


“Even when the U.K. government has funded a substantial proportion of the R&D for innovative medicines, there is no guarantee of an equitable public return on this public investment,” wrote STOPAIDS and Global Justice Now in their report. The groups contend that taxpayers are billed twice – through investing in R&D and by paying high prices once ownership is transferred to drug makers.

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