Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Patient-funded drug research

If you are a biomedical research, scientist, healthcare profression, or just aware of the drug development process than you know how it can take an upwards of 15 years and $1 billion dollars for pharmaceutical companies and smaller biotechs to bring a drug to market. It can cause problems for both patients and the business side of these companies, delaying promising drugs and causing pharma to hustle to recoup discovery and marketing costs. This also contributes to the high cost of healthcare in the US and often leads to needy people being denied proper medications. However, a even lesser known problem with the drug development model is that pharma often does not pool their energies into developing therapeutics for less common diseases; for these disorders, there aren't a big enough population of people to justify the costs of development. That is where patient advocacy groups and a new movement of patient-supported research is starting to pick up the slack...

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