Podcast Ep. 18: Savva Kerdemelidis
How IP-NFTs, Open Source Pharma & Decentralised Science (DeSci) Can Unleash the Power of Off-Patent Generic Drugs w/ Savva Kerdemelidis
Savva is the Founder and CEO of Crowd Funded Cures, a New Zealand-based charity and Open Source Pharma De-Sci Organisation.
Savva and Niklas talk about the pharmaceutical market, and how the interplay of clinical trials and the patent system disincentivize pharma companies from producing widely available drugs that could significantly improve people's lives.
This is another deep dive into one of the largest markets in the world, healthcare, and into the possible future using blockchain technology to disrupt it.
Savva describes three core concepts: a Health Impact Fund, Pay-For-Success Contracts and intellectual property (IP) NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Together, these legal and technological innovations can create the right incentives and create a scalable business model to fund clinical trials for off-patent, generic drugs such as ketamine to treat depression, which is only $2 a dose compared to expensive patented drugs such as esketamine for over $850 a dose.
This is important because the pharmaceutical industry is disincentivized from conducting clinical trials, if they can't enforce a monopoly price. Because people can buy generic drugs cheaply from multiple sources, they can't create a business model by charging a monopoly price and suing other companies. This is why we need new "pay-for-success" contracts to fix this market failure under the traditional IP system.
There are over 7500 off-patent drugs and 50,000 supplements that could be repurposed to treat new diseases at up to 1/100th of the cost and 5-10x faster than new patented drugs.
Savva offers deep insights into the broken incentives of the pharmaceutical system, but he is describing key innovations enabled by blockchain technology that has the potential to create an open-source, decentralized science ecosystem.
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