At the BIO 2007 conference in Boston on Monday, Michael J. Fox challenged the drug industry to focus on developing breakthrough treatments for patients. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, has experienced the impact of Big Pharma’s dearth of innovation firsthand.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies aren’t interested in high-risk studies critical in determining whether creative ideas could yield therapies for the 20,000 human diseases that have no cure. They are more interested in repackaging old ideas and compounds in an effort to continue reaping vast returns. Levodopa is the gold-standard treatment for Parkinson’s, the disease I live with. Don’t get me wrong, I love my meds… But it’s a little frustrating that the best drug we’ve got is one that’s been around for 40 years…
But, hey, credit where credit is due — I couldn’t be happier about the recent advances. What comes to mind is antidepressants for dogs, which makes it a little easier for me because my dog is feeling better.
Fox made it clear that it’s time for the pharmaceutical industry to focus less on advertising, manipulation of the system, and profiteering — and more on the creation of new life-saving drugs.