Today there will be a presentation at the European Parliament on the Health Impact Fund. Below are a few earlier KEI blogs about the HIF.
Basically, Thomas Pogge has borrowed, without attribution*, the basic idea of having a competition to determine shares of a prize fund, and then screwed it up by eliminating the obligation to provide an open license to the patents on the products. The end result, as proposed by the HIF, is a fairly expensive way of implementing a prize fund, that would subsidize big pharma pricing, in order to undermine compulsory licensing or generic competition in developing countries. If applied in a European context, the companies could choose between the monopoly or the HIF, rather than have governments mandate a shift from monopolies to a prize fund model, unlike, say,the cancer prize fund approach, which de-monopolizes the market, and replaces the monopoly with the prize fund rewards. To the delight to the IFPMA, Mary Moran identified the HIF as a “promising” proposal, while declaring that prize funds with open licenses for end products were unworkable.
Source URL: /hif
The Health Impact Fund Proposal
Selected KEI 2008 Blogs on the Health Impact Fund
April 27, 2008. Open licensing vs Monopoly Controlled Supply 
November 17, 2008. The Health Impact Fund and product monopolies 
November 18, 2008.HIF on Intellectual Property 
November 18, 2008. Excerpts from HIF: compulsory licensing 
November 18, 2008. HIF on the Sanders prize fund bill 
November 19, 2008. Why the HIF rejected open licensing 
November 20, 2008. Impact of the HIF on generic industry in developing countries 
November 27, 2008. Pogge and Hollis on the Trade-off between access and incentives 
November 28, 2008. HIF on why voluntary licensing of patents is not required 
December 2, 2008. Blogging the Washington DC HIF presentation 
December 3, 2008. HIF proposes $600 million annual budget to evaluate health impacts 
* Initially, Pogge was proposing a reward system based upon a fixed prize for QALYs delivered. Even before this, from 2002 to 2004, Tim Hubbard and I developed an approach involving a competition for shares of a prize fund. Aidan Hollis was show an early draft of the medical innovation prize fund legislation, and liked the competitive approach, but was more inclined to make it voluntary, which is necessary for a some implementations, but not necessary or appropriate for others, in our view. Pogge eventually, after protracted debates, including meetings in the KEI offices, recognized the competitive approach was a superior way to address the valuation and cost-on-the-margin issues, and this eventually became the model used in the HIF, which he coauthored with Hollis. Along the way, Pogge dropped the open license to patents, to attract support for Phrma and the Gates Foundation. Now Pogge frequently passes off the core valuation ideas in the HIF as his own, which is odd for an academic who works on ethics.