Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Fair Medicine founded?

The Fair Medicine Foundation was founded to provide access to safe, effective and affordable medications for everyone, both today and in the future. The foundation has developed a new form of partnership for the production of pharmaceuticals, based on an intensive formation process for a coalition of various interested parties (patients, treating physicians, knowledge institutions, investors, producers, etc.). The core concepts are: trust and sharing the costs and profits. The foundation focuses on diseases that currently have no satisfactory treatment, or for which the current treatment threatens to become extremely expensive or impossible to pay for.

Is Fair Medicine a commercial company, like other pharmaceutical companies?

Fair Medicine is based on different principles than existing companies in the pharmaceutical industry. We are a foundation, a social enterprise. The principle is that the foundation sets and enforces the rules, which are laid out in the Fair Medicine Charter. This charter contains provisions on the transparency of the process and a socially acceptable price structure.

So Fair Medicine is not a commercial enterprise?

The foundation is not, but through the foundation’s initiative, diverse coalitions get to work to develop the products. These are legally separate businesses. In their activities, these coalitions surely make a cost-benefit analysis, but the Charter text is always the leading guideline, not the payment of dividends to the coalition partners.

How does Fair Medicine work in practice?

For each new medication to be developed, the foundation creates a coalition consisting of the patients, treating physicians, knowledge institutions, investors, producers, etc. This coalition then works in accordance with the principles of the Fair Medicine Charter: trust, transparency and sharing the costs, risks and profits. This not only requires less money for the full development of each product all the way to the release to the market; it also makes the whole process faster and more efficient.

What is the most important element of the charter text?

The text states that Fair Medicine aims to occupy a unique position in the pharmaceutical world through its working methods. It does so by:

– Giving the patient a voice in the development process and the evaluation of the results;

– Involving the treating physician and the knowledge institute in the entire process;

– Giving small- and medium-sized businesses opportunities to develop products all the way to market release, with investments that are attainable for these companies;

– Involving new investors, including social impact investors, in the field of pharmaceutical development.

– Providing government agencies and society at large with transparency as to the costs and price structure.

Is the Charter text available to the public?

The Charter text can be found on the Fair Medicine website, along with the foundation’s four core values. These deal with sharing responsibility, sharing investments, developing a socially acceptable price together, and agreeing to an acceptable level of profit.

How is Fair Medicine financed?

Fair Medicine receives limited support to elaborate its idealistic objectives into a realistic starting point, and to monitor the organisation of that process. We do not invest government funding in the development of new medications.

What does Fair Medicine provide in return for the subsidy granted in September 2016 by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport?

In addition to meeting the usual subsidy conditions, we have agreed that we will form at least one coalition every year, including obtaining the necessary investments. Each year, a progress check is conducted, after which we will receive the following tranche of funding. We use this funding to refine the model and to identify new products.

Which products does Fair Medicine focus on?

We focus on medication that is too expensive, and which we believe could be cheaper. Or we examine diagnoses for which no suitable medication exists, because the patient group is too small. This can be either because the disease is extremely rare, or because a larger group of patients has been divided into smaller groups through new medical research and personalised medicine. One condition is that we are not hindered by patients trying to block our efforts.

Which diseases are you currently working on?

We have made confidentiality agreements with the coalition parties. As so many parties are involved in the development, we must wait to announce our efforts to the public until a moment that the partners and the process are ready. At the start of the clinical studies, which may begin in the very near future, we will be required to publicise our work. However, we are doing all we can to announce our intentions even earlier.