By wmw_admin on August 11, 2012
Jeremy Laurance – The Independent August 10, 2012
The multi-billion pound pharmaceutical industry has spent the last decade developing new drugs which have produced little benefit and caused considerable harm, experts say today.
The claim that there is an “innovation crisis” in pharmaceuticals because of the difficulty and expense of discovering new drugs is a myth fostered by an industry whose chief focus is on marketing, they add.
Counter to drug industry claims that the pipeline of new drugs is running dry, the number of new drugs being licensed each year has remained at between 15 and 25. But most involve minor tweaks to existing drugs, designed to grab a slice of an existing market rather than offering genuine therapeutic innovation.
Independent reviews suggest that 85 to 90 per cent provide little benefit over existing treatments with some, such as Vioxx the painkiller and Avandia, the diabetes drug, causing serious side effects which led to their withdrawal, the latter’s in Europe.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Donald Light from the University of Medicine of New Jersey and Joel Lexchin from York University in Toronto say the situation has remained the same for 50 years. The incentives for drug development are wrong and have skewed the behaviour of the industry.
“This is the real innovation crisis: pharmaceutical research and development turns out mostly minor variations on existing drugs and most new drugs are not superior on clinical measures. [They] have also produced an epidemic of serious adverse reactions that have added to national healthcare costs,” they say.
More is spent on marketing (25 per cent of revenues) than on discovering new molecules (1.3 per cent). Drug industry claims that the cost of bringing a new drug to market is £1bn and is unsustainable are exaggerated, they claim. Research and development costs did rise substantially between 1995 and 2010 by $34.2bn (£21.9bn), they concluded, but revenues increased six times faster – by $200.4bn.
Companies avoid mentioning this “extraordinary revenue return”, they said, adding that up to 80 per cent of drug spending is used by the industry on promotion. The authors call for licensing authorities around the world to stop approving new drugs of little therapeutic value. They suggest large cash prizes should be awarded for genuinely new therapeutic agents in lieu of patent protection.
The European Medicines Agency, which licenses drugs in the UK and Europe, keeps certain data about their safety and efficacy secret. Yet 29 per cent of new biological agents approved by the EMA received safety warnings within the first 10 years.
In a second paper, researchers from the London School of Economics in the UK argue that drug manufacturers should be made to demonstrate that their products are superior to existing treatments before being granted a licence, rather than, as now, superior only to a placebo.
“Changing the nature of regulation could encourage manufacturers to concentrate on the development of new drugs in therapeutic areas with few alternatives,” they say. “Supplementing regulation with scientific advice and guidance can steer manufacturer’s interest and efforts into key research priorities.”
Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said: “We strongly disagree with the claims made in these papers. Medical research has always rested on iterative and gradual innovation rather than breakthrough advances which are very rare. If it were not for the incremental improvements made in the treatment of HIV, the disease would still be terminal rather than a manageable condition.”
Via my avoidance of most MSM ….. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that Big Pharma is populated by a cabal of evil quacks.
This harkens back to my past posts of the evolution of Big Pharma, including the Rockefellers….how it cleverly co-opted the medical schools over 100 years ago after the Flexner Report, and geared /seduced modern Doctors to, in essence, become drug pushers, … as opposed to the older practice of medicine…which was more naturopathic/homeopathic and helped the body to heal itself , and not to try to override nature with quackery.
Rockefellers, being heavily invested and enriched via the Oil”hydrocarbon” industry, obviously gained much expertise with Organic chemistry, and saw side – opportunities with producing bio-chemical drugs, which also have much higher profit margins.
As many have concluded, drugs treat symptoms, not the root problem. Many problems can be treated with other approaches.
However, given the h-u-g-e profits in drugs, this implies there is also money available to lobby influence on Gov’t and Regulators. This oversite has become more and more diluted….whereby new drugs are rushed onto the market sooner …..and the US Gov’t has literally exempted Big Pharma from major legal liability.
Or, in other words..if you think that drug you are taking as prescribed by your doctor has been put through rigorous studies and is “safe”,…… you are seriously mistaken. I heard recently that drugs prescribed for “Cholesterol” may create problems with the brain, ie senility , dementia etc..
More and more, we are finding that drugs are having major side effects, which require more drugs, which create other side effects ….and on and on it goes. If you watch TV, you will often see a drug ad….and at the end of the same ad……a person lists the numerous side effects.
OR, even funnier….right after the drug ad..an ad for a Legal Firm comes on re: a major Class Action lawsuit re DRUG “X” with a 1-800 Tel.# to contact them.
Is this not rather surreal. ……or just outright insane?
As Mike Rivero said on RBN, we, as humans, have existed with nature and natural chemicals for thousands of years…our bodies know how to deal with them . However, these man- made drugs are , for all intents and purposes, foreign objects being introduced into our bodies complex biological programming, …..and effectivley F*cking it up.
This simply compounds itself…and vaccines are perhaps the first introduction to this comprised bio-programming(simply GOOGLE this….vast amounts of info)
This Big Pharma is a major racket which people would be strongly advised to investigate further…its YOUR HEALTH that should be # 1 priority ……NOT T-H-E-I-R WEALTH .