Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

One way to discover drugs is by drug repurposing - the process of discovering "new" drugs from "old" ones. Instead of starting from scratch, which takes 10+ years) if scientists can find an approved drug that treats a different, often untreatable, condition considerable time and cost can be saved. In this manner, a drug that cures hepatitis C was found be effective against Yellow Fever and Chikungunya. Does this make sense?
When science and money mix science suffers. The pressure to publish and get grant money has corrupted researchers who must publish or perish and get grants. This unholy alliance between the popular media and scholarly publications spawned the never-ending flow of sensationalistic results, especially those pertaining to human health effects.
The interaction of supply and demand is an initial economic lesson. The FDA approves new drug's safety and efficacy. But it's the payers – Medicare and the insurance companies – that determine the true supply. Before we begin to discuss cost, let's first learn about supply.
Melinta is only one of several companies experiencing the pain of antibiotic development. The company lost 85% of its market cap over the past year. Yet, the company just received European approval to market Vabomere, a combination of one antibiotic, meropenem, and one beta-lactamase inhibitor vaborbactam. This is becoming a repetitive pattern of success breeding failure in the antibiotic space. Dr. David Shlaes explains.
Placebos work, but focusing on their neurobiological effects to make their efficacy palatable to the scientifically inclined misses the point. For social creatures, caring helps to heal, by whatever name you give it.
Rare diseases are becoming the focus of more and more biomedical research. And the cost of developing medicines to treat them takes center stage in the discussion. A new article in JAMA concludes that clinical trials for rare diseases should cost less than those that require a larger number of patients. But it's not that simple. Pfizer's Dr. Robert Popvian explains.
Is there a way to crowd-source funding medical research in a way that allows more people to share the risk, as well as the possible profit? A group of patients – Bio-Bonds – thinks there is.
Triclosan has garnered a bad reputation due to its overuse. But it may still serve a purpose in treating cystic fibrosis infections.
Trump officials made a big splash with proposals to curb drug costs. But the benefits may not match the rhetoric from either the administration or Big Pharma. As is often the case, it's a bit more complicated than what we're getting as a first impression.
With hospital accreditation in itself a big business, it might be time for some oversight of such oversight.
Sometimes taking a second drug can have a profound effect on one that's already being taken. That's because it can cause abnormally high or low blood levels of the first drug. This is known as a drug-drug interaction. Opioids are used as an example of how this works.
On Tuesday in the European Union, the world's best-selling drug came off patent protection. Will it mean big savings for us? Probably not, especially in the U.S. where Humira is protected for another five years. What it will mean is money for lawyers, as AbbVie files patent infringement suits and reaches out-of-court settlements to protect a $20 billion market.