My co-author and former student, Charles Hooper, has written an excellent article on today’s In the article, Hooper calls himself a “drug killer,” telling why he advises firms to “kill” even drugs that have promising uses. Here’s a quote:

A lot of new medicines are tossed into the trash for reasons that have nothing to do with safety and efficacy. We have helped kill drugs for brain cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, hemophilia and other debilitating conditions. It breaks my heart. But we would never recommend that a company knowingly lose money unless some other crucial, nonfinancial objective was being achieved.

The whole thing is worth reading. Also, he quotes from his article, Pharmaceuticals: Economics and Regulation, in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.