Can We Get More Value From Scientific Knowledge Spillovers? The Under-Appreciated Value of “Failed” R&D Efforts


Discussion Leader: Lou Garrison, PhD, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts University, Boston, MA, USA
Discussants: Adrian Towse, MA, MPhil, Office of Health Economics, London, UK; Richard Xie, PhD, The Innovation and Value Initiative, Newton, MA, USA; Laura Magazzini, PhD, Institute of Economics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy


The purpose of this workshop is to illustrate the value of scientific knowledge spillovers (SKS) using failed R&D efforts as specific examples, recognizing that they may be undersupplied and to discuss the potential policy solutions to encourage more generation and use of SKS using the example of information-sharing from failures.


Recent experience with COVID-19 has reminded us of the importance of scientific progress in enabling pharmaceutical innovation. Developing novel therapies is a highly risky but rewarding process: it not only produces innovative drugs, but also valuable scientific knowledge that benefits the community of innovators. This workshop explores whether the existing reward system for pharmaceutical R&D leads to socially optimal level of knowledge generation and sharing, with a particular focus on the value of “failed” R&D efforts.

Prof. Garrison will first discuss the concept of SKS and its importance in health technology assessment (10 minutes). Dr. Xie will describe, with examples, channels and influence of SKS throughout the new drug development process (10 minutes). Prof. Magazzini will focus on the value of “failed” R&D efforts, and how the community of innovators can learn from the “failure” of each other (15 minutes). Lastly, Prof. Towse will discuss policy approaches and implications to incentivize more information sharing from “failed” R&D efforts and innovation efforts (15 minutes).

Insights from the workshop are applicable across all stakeholders: researchers will gain insights into available methods and data to evaluate SKS and future research opportunities; innovators and patients can learn more about the importance of information-sharing and collaboration in R&D process; and payers and HTA bodies can learn about promising approaches and suggested next steps for integrating SKS into decision-making.

Conference/Value in Health Info

2021-11, ISPOR Europe 2021, Copenhagen, Denmark




Economic Evaluation

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