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Slower drug approvals cost lives

Delays in getting drugs approved cost livesBoston is biotech country, no doubt about it. As such, it gets its fair share of controversy but also news coverage.

A recent edition of the Emily Rooney Show on WGBH featured a 20-minute segment with Christoph Westphal, he of the recent newspapers and biopharma companies are caught in the same downward spiral" article.

The interview is worth listening to - not so much for it's rah-rah Boston talk but for the discussion about how FDA has been getting more conservative and thus approving fewer new drugs. For instance at 3:15 of the video, the host wonders aloud if FDA's drug patents are fundamentally flawed:

"It's an odd thing to me that the FDA ever did that in the first place. They put a limit on a patent."
Westphal points to patent expirations as one of the big reasons why biopharma companies may soon go the way of printed newspapers and dinosaurs. But he's also quick to point out the benefits from limiting patent protection to a period of roughly 20 years: it drives innovation and helps prices go down - a boon to consumers and patients.

Without this innovation, Westphal says, we wouldn't have many of the specialized therapies that we take for granted today:
"delays in getting drugs approved actually cost lives"
This is a view that is very much shared by everybody here at ForeignExchange. As we have written before, we see our vision as saving lives. Enabling biopharma companies to bring new therapies to market faster improves all of our lives.

[Thanks, Mary, for the link to the interview!]


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1 Comment:

  1. Anonymous said...
    "Enabling biopharma companies to bring new therapies to market faster improves all of our lives."

    Sure it does - thank God we got Celebrex in a hurry, and Bextra, and Merida, and all the others

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_withdrawn_drugs
    (for a *very* abbreviated list)

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