financial incentives

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of HHS, just announced an award as much as $285 million to Paratek, a publicly-owned Boston-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on infectious disease research, to develop a new antibiotic for anthrax. But, will pull incentives – rewarding companies for the successful development of new antibiotics – be enough to keep large, private companies in the field of antibiotic research? ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes explains.
For those of you who reflexively think that "big pharma" is an amorphous, evil entity that could be replaced by government research, think again. The industry exited antibiotic research in the 1990s (largely because FDA statisticians decided that impossibly large clinical trials were required for new antibiotic approval). Now, the antibiotic marketplace is broken. ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes discusses how to lure companies back into the field.
We know health's basics including making good choices about nutritious foods. That said, are subsidies and large scale federal programs the best way to support healthful choices?
Would taxes on less-nutritious foods lead to better health? Or better purchasing patterns? In a recent study of food taxes vs. food subsidies, researchers found little to support that notion as both affect food shopping decision making.