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From Bad Pharma to Good Pharma:

A Single Payer Alternative to Corporate R&D


pharma_.pngFeatured Speaker: Donald Light, Ph.D.


Moderator: Martha Livingston, Ph.D.


Scores of studies detail that when patents drive pharmaceutical research, it leads to skyrocketing drug prices at prohibitive rates for patients, without increasing the number of drugs that are clinically superior. In addition, patent-driven R&D has lead to biased clinical trials with little or hidden evidence of harmful side effects, leading to corrupted medical knowledge in journals, which serve as the basis for professional guidelines and medical education.

Is there another way? The large non-profit Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research built on Italy’s conversion from multiple insurers to a single-payer National Health Service (NHS) to develop a set of principles, practices and independent funding, grounded in social ethics, that has enabled its 51 laboratories to search for better medicines over the past 30 years, and to develop large, collaborative trials across the whole NHS that test for evidence of clinical superiority.

Since there appears to be no evidence that the proliferation of patenting has led to an increase of clinically important drugs, isn’t it time to consider this low-cost, effective alternative pioneered by the Mario Negri Institute, which focuses R&D on clinically superior, safe drugs, made available at a low cost? 

Donald Light is a medical and economic sociologist who does policy research on institutional and global bioethics concerning access and quality problems for medical services or drugs. Light’s new book is based on his time at Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, “Good Pharma: the Public Health Model of the Mario Negri Institute” (Palgrave 2015) More can be found at

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January 19, 2016 at 7:30pm - 9pm
Phillips Ambulatory Care Center - Mount Sinai Beth Israel
10 Union Sq E
2nd Floor Auditorium
New York, NY 10003
United States
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Tina Dobsevage Elizabeth Saenger Tommy Landers Aarti Surti Timothy Frasa Ram Ravi Wesley Tzall Diane Borko Hannah Moreira Michael Zingman Steve Auerbach George Wang David Kotelchuck Cheryl Kunis Riddhi Gundani Alisson Lachor Jay Cherlin Colleen Kavanagh Betty Kolod Joel Singer Sandra Turner Steve Mooser Helen Redmond Barbara Schnoor Daniel Neghassi DECEASED Jay Kallio Keriann Shalvoy Lina Green Marc Lavietes Christine Rollet Erica Eliason Jill Greenberg Luis G. Santiago Anna Lowell Amanda McCormick Bryn Marie Michael Kerr Katherine Robbins Annette Gaudino

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