Drug shortages, drug costs, the questionable quality of over-the-counter medicines: myriad issues have developed in pharmaceuticals in an era of enhanced regulatory efforts, rising healthcare costs and a global economy in which drug components are manufactured around the world. The new war on drugs is a policymaking battle in the legislative arena not over illicit back-alley dealing, but over cost, control and accessibility of the pills populating Americans' medicine cabinets.
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Even with the coming of a new drug reimbursement environment that emphasizes profound innovation, don't expect to see the end of incremental biopharma innovation just yet.
As drug companies take divergent strategies focused either on research or cutting costs, what might this mean for the path future companies take in the pharmaceutical industry?
The tragic deaths of 55 Americans and sickening of more than 740, resulting from contaminated steroid injections that were shipped by a disreputable firm in Massachusetts, have rightly focused public attention on a largely unfamiliar, but prominent part of our drug supply chain – the practice of pharmacy compounding.
Scott Gottlieb's testimony for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health's hearing on drug compounding.
There seems to be a surprisingly pervasive belief that drug companies aren't working on cures for disease because it's far more profitable to chronically maintain patients on medication.
Drug companies -- at least every one that I've worked with -- would like to develop important new medicines that improve health and save lives. That's what gets every industry researcher I know up in the morning, and what keeps them going through the many highs and lows that characterize the scientific process.
Poorly manufactured and fraudulent medicines kill thousands of people around the world each year. For infectious diseases like malaria and HIV, shoddy medicines also accelerate drug resistance and dramatically alter the course of epidemics. With few new drugs under development, recent progress against these major killers in the poorest countries is precarious.
India's Supreme Court rejected a patent for Glivec, Novartis's blockbuster leukemia drug, putting an end to a seven-year legal battle. This decision threatens the health of patients in both India and the US.