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Amid ongoing debate over taxpayer dollars used to generate medicines, a new analysis contends that public investments contributed up to five times more than what Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) spent to develop Sirturo, its groundbreaking drug for tuberculosis.

Public sector funds worth an estimated $455 million to $747 million were used to pay for clinical trials, tax credits, administration of a tax-deductible donation program, and a redeemable regulatory voucher, according to the analysis, published in PLoS One. By comparison, the health care giant was estimated to have invested anywhere from $90 million to $240 million on getting the tuberculosis drug to market.

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  • May one also observe that including the cost of “the redeemable regulatory voucher” is problematic? If JNJ ‘earned’ the voucher, then it’s a benefit that was publicly given. (And it only speeds up review, I believe, and would have no effect of User / PDUFA fees.) If they purchased the voucher, then it’s a cost.
    A worthy analysis but as was written above, one with “limitations.”

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