Roger Bate is an economist who has held a variety of positions in free market, libertarian, and conservative think tanks and lobby groups. His current work focuses on solving the problem of counterfeit and substandard medicines, particularly those in the developing world. He also works on US and international aid policy, performance of aid organisations, and health policy in developing countries, particularly with regard to malaria control and the use of DDT. He also consulted for the tobacco industry in the mid-'90s, though the extent of this work is disputed. He is currently a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs, and he on the board of directors of Africa Fighting Malaria. He also written a number of articles questioning the science of climate change.
Bate holds a PhD, economics from the University of Cambridge and was previously educated at University College, London and Thames Valley University. He began his career as a research analyst for Warburg Securities and Charles Stanley & Co. between 1986 and 1989. He later worked for a range of think tanks and lobby groups, including the Institute of Economic Affairs and the American Enterprise Institute.
Bate founded the Environmental Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs, a conservative British think tank, in 1993. In 1994, he started the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), which has been described as "a clearinghouse for skeptical scientists and conservative opinion-molders … a go-to resource for anyone wishing to question the validity of proposed health and environmental regulations." While there is no solid evidence that ESEF was funded by the tobacco industry, the World Health Organization concluded that it "likely" was a product of the industry, and the organisation bore a strong resemblance to The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, the Philip Morris front group run by Steven Milloy. In 1996, Roger Bate approached R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for a grant of £50,000 to fund a book on risk, containing a chapter on passive smoking, (i.e. "second hand smoke") but the grant request was denied and the money was never received. (The Tobacco Institute, was nonetheless, "involved in" the publication of the book, according to internal industry documents.) That same year he wrote the article "Is Nothing Worse Than Tobacco?," for Wall Street Journal, and later ESEF published What Risk? Science, Politics and Public Health, edited by Bate, which included a chapter on passive smoking. After the publication of this chapter, according to Bate, he undertook a brief period consulting for the Philip Morris corporation He then approached Philip Morris seeking funding for the project on DDT and malaria, but received no reply.
Bate is joint author, with Julian Morris of Fearing Food: Risk, Health and Environment. The IEA website describes the book in the following way : "In the latest ESEF book, Fearing Food, new agricultural and food technologies, including genetic engineering, are shown to be generally beneficial both to health and to the environment." (Fearing Food was published by Butterworth-Heinemann in September 1999). He was also a presenter on the BBC2 program Organic Food: The Modern Myth.
Bate is on the board of Africa Fighting Malaria, a group promoting the use of DDT to control malaria. According to investigative journalist Adam Sarvana, he has been central to promoting "the myth that environmentalists, by preventing the use of the pesticide DDT … to kill mosquitoes in developing countries, have heartlessly caused millions of malaria deaths worldwide." His critics argue that rather than being concerned with saving lives, Bate's principle motivation for promoting DDT is to advance a free market, anti-regulatory agenda while smearing the environmental movement. For example, an article in the NRDC's magazine quotes Bate as saying, "DDT may be today's target, but it's not going to be long before chemicals that the industry cares about are added to the POPs Convention and other chemicals regulations."
Aaron Swartz wrote in Extra! that "a funding pitch uncovered by blogger Eli Rabbett shows Bate's thinking when he first started the project. 'The environmental movement has been successful in most of its campaigns as it has been 'politically correct, he explained (Tobacco Archives, 09/98). What the anti-environmental movement needs is something with 'the correct blend of political correctness ( . . . oppressed blacks) and arguments (eco-imperialism [is] undermining their future).' That something, Bate proposed, was DDT."
Bate's latest work focuses on the prevalence of counterfeit anti-malarials and other pharmaceuticals in Africa and strategies by which rich and poor nations can work together to stop the trade of counterfeits. His original research has been published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Journal of Health Economics, and PLoS Medicine. AEI Press will publish his book Phake: The Deadly World of Falsified and Substandard Medicines in May 2011. The book explores the underground trade in illegal medicines, provides a firsthand account of the illegal industry, and offers academic and policy analysis. Prior to Phake, AEI Press published his book Making a Killing: The Deadly Implications of the Counterfeit Drug Trade in May 2008. In Making a Killing, Bate calls for stronger policing resources, harsher penalties for counterfeiters, widespread public education and consumer vigilance to deal with the proliferation of counterfeit drugs.
Bate distinguishes between approved generic drugs and what he calls "pseudo-generics". These are drugs approved as generic versions of proprietary drugs by bodies such as the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but which, according to Bate, have not been adequately tested for efficacy.
- American Enterprise Institute, Resident Fellow
- Africa Fighting Malaria, co-director
- Institute of Economic Affairs, Director of Environmental Unit, 1993–2000; fellow, 2000–
- European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), Founder and Executive Director, 1995–2001
- International Policy Network, director, 2001–2003, Fellow 2003
- Sustainable Development Network, "Member"
- Competitive Enterprise Institute, Adjunct Fellow
- Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Advisory Board
- (stockbrokers), Research Analyst, 1986–1989
- Political Economy Research Center, Visiting Scholar
- Sarvana, Adam (28 May 2009). "Bate and Switch: How a free-market magician manipulated two decades of environmental science". Natural Resources New Service. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- Bate, R; Political Economy Research Center (4 September 1998). "Letter to Greenberg, DI; Phillip Morris". Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. University of California. Bates 2065246736/6737.
- Bate, Roger (May 2008). "DDT Works". The Prospect Online.
- Swartz, Aaron (September–October 2007). "Rachel Carson, Mass Murderer? The creation of an anti-environmental myth". Extra!.
The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library documents referred to in the quote are  &  
- Quiggin, John; Lambert, Tim (May 2008). "Rehabilitating Carson". Prospect.
- Larsen, Kim (Winter 2008). "Bad Blood". OnEarth.
- Bate R, Coticelli P, Tren R, Attaran A (2008). "Antimalarial Drug Quality in the Most Severely Malarious Parts of Africa – A Six Country Study". In Awadalla, Philip. PLoS ONE 3 (5): e2132. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002132. PMC 2324203. PMID 18461128.
- "Resisting arrest". The Economist. 15 May 2008.
- Bate, Roger; Jin, Ginger Zhe; Mathur, Aparna (March 2011). "Does Price Reveal Poor-Quality Drugs? Evidence from 17 Countries". National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper (16854).
- Bate, Roger; Ginger Zhe Jin; Aparna Mathur (March 2012). "Unveiling the Mystery of Online Pharmacies: an Audit Study". National Bureau of Economic Research. Working Paper (17955). Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Bate, Roger; Ginger Zhe Jin; Aparna Mathur (July 2011). "http://www.nber.org/papers/w17955". Journal of Health Economics 30 (6): 1150–1163. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.08.006. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Paul N. Newton, Abdinasir A. Amin, Chris Bird, Phillip Passmore, Graham Dukes, Go¨ran Tomson, Bright Simons, Roger Bate, Philippe J. Guerin, Nicholas J. White (2011). "The Primacy of Public Health Considerations in Defining Poor Quality Medicines". PLoS Medicine 8 (12): e1001139. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001139.
- "AEI – Bad Medicine in the Market".
- "AEI – Scholars – Roger Bate". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Bate R, Tren R, Hess K, Attaran A (2009). "Physical and chemical stability of expired fixed dose combination artemether-lumefantrine in uncontrolled tropical conditions". Malar. J. 8 (1): 33. doi:10.1186/1475-2875-8-33. PMC 2649943. PMID 19243589.