Intended for healthcare professionals


Scrooge and intellectual property rights

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 21 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1279

Call for a Health Impact Fund

This piece clearly articulates the need for alternative models that
address pharmaceutical innovation for poor-world diseases. I helped found
an organization with Professor Thomas Pogge, a political philosopher noted
for his work on global justice, to develop such models. The organization,
Incentives for Global Health, is working on a proposal for a Health Impact
Fund that would reward innovators based on the overall impact of their
products on the disease burden. In exchange, innovators would relinquish
sales revenues for products registered under the scheme, encouraging them
to license innovations to generics for competitive manufacture and
lowering prices dramatically.

Advance Market Commitments, the brainchild of Harvard economist
Michael Kremer and a team at the Center for Global Development, address
many of the same challenges and have resulted in a US$1.5bn commitment to
develop a vaccine for Pneumococcal disease.

The Health Impact Fund can be viewed as a "Comprehensive Advance
Market Commitment," to use economist Aidan Hollis' term, in that it goes a
few steps further than AMCs by rewarding innovators based on overall
health impact, rather than on developing a specific product.

For more information on the project, please visit

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 January 2008
Leila Chirayath
US Director
Incentives for Global Health