The Disincentive Of Researching Cures

Governments should offer big rewards to companies and/or individuals that invent cures for diseases. Treatments for diseases like cancer make profits for pharmaceutical companies but a cure wouldn't; a cure would naturally reduce revenue from sales of treatments. The same is true of charities; a cure for cancer would reasonably end a cancer research charity, thus there is an disincentive to find a cure a disease, and an incentive to invent costly treatments instead. An individual scientist might want to develop a cure, but the huge amount of money and research needed to develop any modern medical treatment combined with the financial disincentive to locate a cure rather than an alleviatory treatment would make this infeasible.

This is one major barrier to the development of a cure for any disease. Thus I think that governments, or an independent philanthropic body, should provide large financial incentives to groups that research and/or locate cures for diseases. A prize like the Nobel Prize for Medicine could be awarded to highly effective treatments, effective enough to be independently deemed cures, for specific diseases.

Mark Sheeky, 27 April 2013