Team:Duke/Integrated Practices

Societal Impact

The optimized biosynthesis of Taxol has the potential for drastically decreasing the price of Taxol production, and ostensibly, decreasing the price of anticancer treatments using Taxol. We conducted a social policy analysis which looked at the current anticancer drug market and limitations to cancer treatments to look at who will benefit most from the decrease of Taxol treatment. Unfortunately, the current anticancer drug market incentivizes high prices regardless of research, development and production costs. This peculiarity is compounded with issues in accessibility which continue to impact low-income individuals and will not be resolved with a decrease in the price of Taxol. The results of our analysis indicate that for the biosynthesis of Taxol as well as similar price decreases in other pharmaceuticals, scientists and policymakers alike will have to address more systemic issues in the healthcare system in order for price decreases to truly impact a broad range of individuals.

An Overview and Analysis of the Societal Impacts of Taxol Biosynthesis in the United States