What Drug and Biotech Firms Do With Their Money

  • by: |
  • 12/22/2006
From the recent GAO study

“Over the past decade, new technologies including genomics and high-throughput screening have provided tools for researchers to discover and test compounds,” according to the report. “According to industry analysts, the use of these technologies has led to increasing expenses without a commensurate increase in the number of drugs developed.

“These analysts have found that although companies have invested substantial resources in acquiring technologies that have generated vast quantities of newly discover biological data, company researchers are still learning whether the data will lead to potentially valid drug candidates, resulting in compounds and drugs that have failed in either preclinical or early clinical testing.”

The report also states that in general over the past several years “it has become widely recognized throughout the [drug development] industry that the productivity of its research and development expenditures has been declining; that is, the number of new drugs being produced has generally declined while research and development expenses has been steadily increasing.”

Translation....companies are investing heavily in translational research to develop targeted therapies and move into personalized medicines in order to make medicines safer and more effective...It makes drug development more expensive in the long run while not having any effect on short term productivity or efficiency.

Consumers only care about what's new and what can help me as well they should. And they want less annoying TV ads. They want information that's useful. Setting aside the chronic conspiratorial types who believe the government is in cahoots with companies to drag kids off the streets to make them permanent zombies for profit -- and you know who you are -- both drug development and the patient-prescription- physician relationship must change to be more humane, personalized and holistic. The emphasis on genomic-based research -- away from large scale clinical trials and towards biomarkers -- is part of this positive trend.

We need regulatory and policy changes to support this revolution. The dribbings of Senator Durbin and the ravings of Congressman Stark do not bode well for the future...We at Drugwonks intend 2007 to be both a year of standing firm against this dimwitted and dimming tide and offering genunine patient-centric initiatives that embrace advances in science...

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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