Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

The IRS Enhanced donation

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

In 2000, Manon Ress wrote a memo for MSF on Tax Deductions for Pharmaceutical Drug Donations. These are the few notes about the enhanced donation rules, as they apply to drug donations.

The IRS has special provisions for “enhanced” donations. For such donations, the taxpayer is able to deduct the lesser of 50 percent of the fair market value of a donation, often associated with the retail price of a good, or twice the cost basis. For drug company donations, the donation should be “used by the donee solely for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants.” [26 USC 170 (e)(3)] (more…)

The economic costs of lobbying of financial institutions and mortgage companies in the U.S.

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Larry Lessig tweeted a link about this. In 2009, an IMF research paper took a look at the consequences of lobbying by financial institutions and mortgage companies in the U.S. (more…)

Employment of Computer and Information Research Scientists by state

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

The BLS estimated 24,580 persons were employed as “Computer and Information Research Scientists” in 41 states. The employment occupation code is 15-1111.

52 percent of all jobs were in 5 states: California, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts. (more…)

Some user generated databases

Monday, August 8th, 2011

KEI is interested in the development of sustainable mechanisms to strengthen the evidence for public policy decisions. One element of this work concerns user generated databases, an area of considerable interest, but mixed experience, in recent years. The following are examples of several such projects, beginning with the excellent Ensembl project, followed by several others of varying degrees of success in their implementation.

As this brief list shows, there are all sorts of ways to design and manage user generated databases. In some cases, the database services seem to be set up more to showcase a technology or an idea for a platform. In other cases, the database is a focused effort to solve a practical and well identified user interest. Some are run by for profit companies, others by non-profits, individuals or communities. The databases take different approaches in terms of database design, attention to standards for data formats, and governance, among other issues.

The Ensembl Project

The Ensembl project produces genome databases for vertebrates and other eukaryotic species, and makes this information freely available online. The Ensembl project was started in 1999, some years before the draft human genome was completed. Even at that early stage it was clear that manual annotation of 3 billion base pairs of sequence would not be able to offer researchers timely access to the latest data. The goal of Ensembl was therefore to automatically annotate the genome, integrate this annotation with other available biological data and make all this publicly available via the web. Since the website’s launch in July 2000, many more genomes have been added to Ensembl and the range of available data has also expanded to include comparative genomics, variation and regulatory data.

The number of people involved in the project has also steadily increased. Currently, the Ensembl group consists of between 40 and 50 people, divided in a number of teams. (more…)

Market cap per employee, and rate of R&D spending, for large pharmaceutical companies

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Among large bio-pharmaceutical firms, Gilead is an outlier in terms of market cap per employee. (more…)

2nd quarter revenue per employee for 12 big pharma companies

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

The chart below presents the 2011 2nd quarter revenue per employee for the 12 largest bio pharmaceutical firms.

The unweighted average was $146,235.86. The median was $135,712. Amgen has the largest ratio of $227,660
in 2nd quarter revenue per employee. (more…)

Notes from Pfizer’s 2010 report to investors

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Pfizer’s 2010 Financial Report for investors covers a number of topics.

Where does Pfizer sell its drugs? The U.S. represented 42.8 percent of Pfizer’s 2010 sales. Western Europe and Scandinavian countries were 24.6 percent. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and South Korea were 14.9 percent. Together, these high income countries were 82.3 percent of Pfizer’s 2010 sales.

Pfizer calls the other Asian countries, plus Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, “emerging markets.” This segment had 17.7 percent of Pfizer sales in 2010, up from 14.9 percent in 2008. In 2010, the “emerging markets” were 72 percent of the sales in Western Europe and Scandinavia, and growing at a faster rate. (more…)

As Austan Goolsbee leaves the Obama Administration, what will change?

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

As Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and in various other roles as a close adviser to Obama, Austan Goolsbee was thought of as an influential member of the Obama Administration. What will change now that he is leaving? These are just a few data points from his recent and not so recent past.

In an interview with John Stewart last week, Goolsbee referred to the various bilateral free trade agreements as part of a bipartisan consensus of things to promote U.S. jobs.

In a 2008 flap about Obama’s real views on trade policy, and with regard to NAFTA in particular, Goolsbee was a campaign aide, and was caught assuring Canadian officials that “Mr. Obama’s protectionist stand on the trail was ‘more reflective of political maneuvering than policy.’” (more…)

The Orphan Drug Tax Credit, from 1998 to 2008

Friday, August 5th, 2011

In 1997, the Orphan Drug Tax Credit was made permanent. In 1998, $80.4 million in credits were claimed on tax returns. By 2008, the claimed credits totaled $450.2 million. This represents a compound growth rate of 17 percent per year. Over the eleven year period, the IRS reported total credits of $2.3355 billion. This is not much when you consider that the orphan tax credit covers 50 percent of the cost of qualifying clinical trials. During the period from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2008, the FDA granted 1163 orphan designations for which the credit applied. In the same period, the FDA gave marketing approval to 183 indications. On a per-approval basis, that works out to 2335.5/183 = $12.8 million per indication that received FDA marketing approval.

It is also useful to note that there were 6.4 indications for each one receiving marketing approval — a useful statistic regarding the hazard rate for orphan products. (more…)

US job growth for computer professionals is lower for Software Publishers than elsewhere

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Another data point to suggest U.S. trade officials may be focusing on the wrong industries with regard to global norms for intellectual property.