Big Pharma unites for research.

"HARI SREENIVASAN: So what are the specific diseases and how did they narrow down the list of what to tackle?

MONICA LANGLEY: That’s a good question. At first the head of the N.I.H. is Francis Collins and he’s the one who sequenced – led the human genome experiment – and he wanted to map all diseases. That was his grand idea. And the drug companies were like ‘Are you crazy? We can’t think of some big experiment like that. We want something that will go into our pipeline and help us make money. So they looked at what diseases they thought were within the realm of possibility or else were what patients really wanted. And they came up with Alzheimer’s with the aging population; diabetes with the population getting fatter. And they also came up with two autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis and lupus — for this initial five-year project."  Newshour


I think I will try to stick around long enough to see how this works.  pl

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8 Responses to Big Pharma unites for research.

  1. Some have estimated up to 90% of all Pharma R&D paid for by Uncle Sugar or through tax breaks. Some estimates exist that since WWII average ROI [return on investment] in Pharma 38% annually. Senator Estes Kefavure [sic] took on Pharma in the 50’s [TN] and lost out because of it.
    Sinclair Lewis documented the power of Pharma in a novel in the 30’s!

  2. Charles I says:

    About 6 years ago a retired medical services salesman suggested upon my inquiry that I invest in pharma/genetics companies focusing on auto-immune diseases. Preceding cancer and then gene work indicated that once facility at chemical, molecular, genetic and nanotech immune system manipulation and maintenance escaped the lab to the geriatric venture capital sector there would be some large baby boomer lolly up for grabs.
    Been a few stumbles, but he was right, and its just beginning in commercialization terms, – everybody needs to first know their genome to target therapy – tho like everything else, you read of a “ground floor” opportunity somewhere, its over. I have already read sociopathic financial analysts’ concerns that if it works as hoped down the line it would devolve into a one time non-recurring income stream. Sigh.

  3. r whitman says:

    PL- Interesting that you bring this up especially in the context of the succeeding post on “groupthink” in the IC. A combination of big pharma companies will result in scientific groupthink and paralysis. It is much better for medical progress and, incidently, scientific employment to have a bunch of big pharma companies trying to cut each others throat.

  4. Highlander says:

    I once had a fellow Jar Head buddy, who became one of the biggest of lobbyist for big pharma.
    Just for grins one day, he took me for a ride in his limo from K street up to the Hill. We bet on how many Senators would come out of their office to meet him in the limo. After 5 we got bored, and went to Georgetown to do some serious drinking.
    Big pharma is the biggest of the big dogs.

  5. walrus says:

    I once sat in a commercialisation conference to listen to a Vice President of J.P Morgan tell me about medical commercialisation:
    “You think the big Five are Cancer, Malaria, AIDS, Heart disease and drug addiction” she said. “Well let me tell you that our big Five investment targets are Ageing, Hair loss, Sexual dysfunction, Obesity and diabetes!”.
    I have seen enough of the inner workings of pharma to know they are cruel predators whose mission is to take your last dollar with your last breath and feel cheated if your estate has anything left after your death.

  6. rjj says:

    Somatic Security Sector boondoggle.

  7. Rd. says:

    “I think I will try to stick around long enough to see how this works. pl ”
    Lets suffice, if Dr Salk had not discovered the vac. for polio, the big pharma, would still be involved with (incremental), never ending, cashing in, research. capitalism is not destined to solve any problem, except to cash in. however, open markets/competition does work.
    Break up the big pharma, and there will be hope all diseases would have very potential for new discoveries.

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The R&D productivity – measured in terms of US FDA approved drugs, has been going down steadily for decades.
    This pulling of resources is a tactic to deal with the increasing rate of failure.

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