Any public policies intended to improve opportunities for developing pharmacotherapies for cocaine addiction must address the three critical barriers described here. It is not within the scope of this study to identify or analyze specific public policies to promote development or marketing of pharmacotherapies for substance abuse. Nevertheless, during the course of this study, certain types of strategies or initiatives emerged that would serve to lower these barriers and make the development of new pharmacotherapies for cocaine abuse more attractive to the pharmaceutical industry, as follows:
- Government funding of a considerable portion of new drug development;
- Expansion and enhancement of the substance abuse treatment system;
- Guaranteed market (e.g., purchase orders for minimum volumes of a medication); and
- Extended market exclusivity (e.g., orphan drug or similar status).
The pertinence of such actions is supported by lessons from the case studies, suggestions raised by interviewees, and results of modeling diverse scenarios of new pharmacotherapy development described in this report. These strategies are consistent with certain of the strategies recommended elsewhere, e.g., certain ones raised by the IOM (1995), and merit further attention.