The latest facts on drugs in development
Over at Policy and Medicine, the bloggers have generated a really interesting summary of drugs currently under development by the nation’s pharmaceutical companies. P&M’s summary starts this way:
According to [a] report released by PhRMA [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America], companies have more than 5,400 medicines in development globally, and more than 70% of therapies in the pipeline are potentially first-in-class and could offer patients new treatment options, and a notable number of potential therapies target diseases with limited treatment options such as ALS and rare diseases.
The P&M breakdown is much more readable than the reports on which it is based (although there are copious links to the underlying reports, for those who are interested in pursuing them). The breakdown is categorized by the targets of drug research: Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer, and so on. The amount of interesting factual detail on each is astounding.
These are facts to keep in mind when you hear policy debates surrounding drug development, debates that raise big questions like: What are the effects of FDA regulation? Should the FDA even have a role? How does government funding affect the choice to develop certain drugs? Etc., etc.