UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


The people's prescription

Major new policy report on re-imagining health innovation to deliver public value.

People's prescription report cover

15 October 2018

IIPP WP 2018-10 The people's prescription: Re-imagining health innovation to deliver public value

Learn more about the launch of the report: The People's Prescription report calls for a transformation of the health innovation system

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)
Ref: IIPP WP 2018-10

Mariana Mazzucato 
Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value
Director, Institute for Innovastion and Public Purpose (IIPP)

Heidi Chow 
Senior campaigns manager
Global Justice Now

Saoirse Fitzpatrick
Senior Advocacy Adviser

Andrea Laplane
Honorary Research Associate

Tiziana Masini 
Honorary Research Associate

Diarmaid McDonald 
Lead Organiser
Just Treatment

Victor Roy
Honorary Research Associate

Ellen ‘t Hoen
Medicines Law & Policy

A thriving health innovation system should generate new health technologies that improve public health and ensure access to effective treatments for the people who need them. However, our current health innovation system fails to direct innovations towards the greatest health needs, and is fraught with inefficiencies: when innovation happens, it happens more slowly and at great cost.

Driven by profit rather than public health, the pharmaceutical sector is incentivised to set high prices and deliver short-term returns to shareholders, rather than focus on riskier, longer-term research which leads to critically needed therapeutic advances. The high prices of medicines are causing severe patient access problems worldwide, with damaging consequences for human health and wellbeing.

These are symptoms of an innovation model that is broken. This report maps the fault lines of this system and sets out principles for a new one. While it does suggest some quick fixes that policymakers can implement in the short term, crucially it proposes concrete policy actions that can be taken in the long term to actively shape and co-create a health system that delivers real public value.

IIPP WP 2018-10 The people's prescription: Re-imagining health innovation to deliver public value

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