Some Dutch health charities which raise money for research are demanding a share of the proceeds from the sale of new drugs, the Financieele Dagblad says on Monday.
The KWF Kankerfonds cancer foundation and the heart disease charity Hartstichting are among those who say they should earn money on medical advances which they have helped finance.
The charities say this will boost their earnings if research leads to patents, and that money in turn can be used for further research. In addition, as joint owners of patents, they will be able to exert influence on drugs companies to ensure medicines reach the market quickly, the FD says.
The KWF spent €106m on research last year while the Hartstichting budget was €21m. Most of the money goes to universities.
‘We have a social responsibility to ensure drugs reach the patient more quickly by stimulating researchers to develop their business,’ KWF spokesman Michel Rudolphie told the paper. The foundation is developing this new strategy which will come into effect next year.
The heart foundation is already working on new research contracts which state one-sixth of any net earnings should flow back to the foundation. ‘We used to assume the universities re-invested any earnings in research but now we want to take responsibility,’ spokeswoman Marina Senten told the FD.
However, universities and some other charities told the paper that the policy will be counter-productive and will interfere with negotiations between researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
‘The more owners of intellectual property, the less room there is for negotiations with industry and venture capitalists,’ Maastricht University spokesman Henri Theuissen told the paper.
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