News: News Archives
Pharma Facing Tough Challenges, Speakers Say at AAAS S&T Forum
The pharmaceutical industry, while still very profitable, is facing significant challenges, with its ability to translate new ideas into products threatened and questions continuing to swirl around the process by which drugs are approved, according to speakers at the recent AAAS Science and Technology Policy Forum.
They spoke of companies that have grown too large and too focused on developing "blockbuster" drugs that can be marketed to the widest possible patient population. They spoke of the conflicts of interest that can arise when industry funds 80 percent of the clinical trials conducted in the United States. But they also spoke of the long-term promise of biomedical innovation, and urged careful analysis of the underlying statistics on drug company productivity.
"What I see is an industry in very deep trouble," said William Haseltine, chairman of Haseltine Global Health, LLC, and the founder of Human Genome Sciences Inc. The number of new drug approvals per year is down substantially, he said, despite a 10-fold increase in spending by traditional pharmaceutical research companies.
For more information, read the full story.