Friday, June 22, 2007

Drug Development Blog with Prize Posts

One of the papers that's been linked on this blog since the beginning is "Perfecting Patent Prizes", one of the academic papers on prize economics focused on comparing the patent system to various versions of prize systems, especially in the area of pharmaceuticals. In preparing another post, I stumbled across this blog post on a talk by the author, Michael Abramowicz, on the paper. The blog post gives a good high-level summary of the paper (and presumably the talk as well), although naturally the paper was much more detailed than the blog post. There is also a link to a Powerpoint presentation on the talk that's another easy way to digest the main points.

You can find more pharmaceutical-related prize posts at the same blog:

Peter Pitts on Prizes

Bio-generics and prize systems

Note that the types of prize systems discussed in these economics articles tend to be a bit different from the space prizes usually discussed here. Typically the subject of the economics papers is a macro-economic level change to the economy, such as replacing the patent system with a prize system or an industry-wide change of this sort like the Medical Innovation Prize Fund. (However, see this in-progress proposal for a small-scale test version of a medical prize system). In contrast, the space prizes are isolated incentives for particular achievements without a change to the overall national or global economic system. There isn't any kind of push to replace the existing NASA or DOD contracting system, research grants, or commercial space regulatory environment with a prize environment - just a push to give some incentives to solve a few very difficult problems like CATS. Nevertheless you can learn a lot about one type of prize from studying the other.