Two important takeaway points. Make that three. Ok four.
1. Companies are refilling their pipelines with new drugs that will hit new targets for unmet medical needs in areas like Alzheimer's, cancer, schizophrenia, Parkinson's, respiratory infections and stroke.
2. Companies are doing a better job of weeding out medicines that won't work or would "fail" because of toxicity issues earlier than ever. Drug development is becoming more predictive.
3. Many of the Critical Path recommendations are being adopted. Adaptive trial designs, bio-imaging, exploratory INDs are all being used.
4. Companies are interested in doing more collaborative work to identify biomarkers, both efficacy and safety. Creating the framework for doing so is difficult.
The takeaway: this is an industry furiously seeking to change. It probably should be more transparent and collaborative and find a better way to market its medicines but that will happen too.
The question is, why do some many people still believe that drug companies are sitting on cures for diseases so they can make money? I can't tell you how many otherwise intelligent people have actually asked me if this is true.... Another reason that biotech and drug companies need to tell the public what they do.