03 December 2012

Health and Social Policy Bonds

An interesting discussion here, on Ben Goldacre's book, Bad Pharma: a Manifesto to Fix the Pharmaceutical Industry. My contribution reads:

Here's another idea: government targets broad, explicit health goals: a combination of longevity, Quality Adjusted Life Years and other impartial data. It issues and backs a large number of tradable non-interest bearing bonds, redeemable for (say) $1m each once the target health goals have all been achieved and sustained. That way government rewards successful initiatives for improving health (including, but by no means limited to, new drugs) regardless of how these initiatives work, or who implements them. Government still articulates society's broad desired health outcomes, and still raises the revenue for their achievement. But it contracts out the achievement to a motivated private sector in a way that rewards success, and only success. This sort of bond, which are an application of Social Policy Bonds, would stimulate diverse, adaptive ways of achieving goals and refocus efforts on the long term.

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