A must read — BusinessWeek on Drugs Get Smart:
“Doctors are calling it ‘the age of personalized medicine’ as they close in on genetic variations that hint at why one person responds to a drug and another doesn’t, why some people are prone to strokes or heart disease, why one person’s cancer is more aggressive than another’s.”
“The shift to drugs tailored to a specific genetic profile will bring massive changes to a pharmaceutical industry long wedded to treatments that can be taken by millions upon millions. Most prescription medicines are now effective for fewer than half of the people who take them — and the side effects can be worse than the illnesses. ‘From a strategic standpoint, of meeting the needs of our customers, the current blockbuster model doesn’t work,’ concedes Sidney Taurel, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY )”
Right! The whole “blockbuster” concept is just WRONG in so many ways: focus on massive profits, the push to re-purpose drugs in order to maximize their market life, the idea that “one size fits all.” My CDE and I have talked about this many times — when we were new to diabetes, we both scratched our heads over why new drugs were always covered in the financial section of the newspaper, rather than the health or lifestyle sections? Why just the investment angle? ‘Cause BIG drugs mean big bucks…
The BW article also mentions the diabetes drug Rezulin as an example of a medicine that continued to be prescribed even while people were dying. The FDA finally had to pull it from the market. Geez… I’m rooting for genetic screening all the way!