Public–private interaction in pharmaceutical research


The National Academy of Sciences of the USA


We empirically examine interaction between the public and private sectors in pharmaceutical research using qualitative data on the drug discovery process and quantitative data on the incidence of coauthorship between public and private institutions. We find evidence of significant reciprocal interaction, and reject a simple “linear” dichotomous model in which the public sector performs basic research and the private sector exploits it. Linkages to the public sector differ across firms, reflecting variation in internal incentives and policy choices, and the nature of these linkages correlates with their research performance.

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