Thursday, 24 November 2016


Many of us are aware that the current system for developing new medicines relies on private pharmaceutical companies who have a duty to maximise returns for shareholders.  But it isn’t always easy to understand how the conflict of interest between the needs of shareholders and patients can manifest itself in sub-optimal benefits for patients and lead to a sub-optimal use of public investment in medical research.

To highlight these issues and raise awareness of how the current profit-led system for medical R&D is letting down patients, the Missing Medicines campaign has produced a clever online game that puts you in the seat of a Big Pharma Exec, running your own pharmaceutical company.

The game asks you to make annual decisions on which drugs to invest in and how much you want to spend on key areas like R&D, marketing and legal matters.  By doing this it highlights in a very effective way the trade off between commercial and public health interests – a stark choice between making money and saving lives.

After playing a couple of turns of the game and producing large profits, you start to see the negative consequences of your decisions on patients; something which is explained further through some a number of videos.

Ultimately the game aims to raise awareness of the need to move away from the current profit-led approach to medical research.

To play the game now visit the PharMADNESS website.

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