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SCI/TECH: Personalized Medicine: The End of Blockbuster Drugs?

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posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 10:14 PM
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The tools for personalized medicine are hitting the mainstream market, including tissue microarrays, commercial tests for DNA analysis and pharmacogenetics. Drug companies have long resisted the move to personalized medicine, fearing that individualized care would destroy the blockbuster drug market. As pharmacogenetics prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the FDA is backing efforts by the National Institutes of Health to promote the paradigm shift. Personalized medicine focuses on disease prevention, rather than treating symptoms.
 



www.the-scientist.com
"The biggest news these days in tissue microarrays (TMAs) may be that this former "next big thing" has become a standard tool for molecular profiling of disease."

...Also see ATS: DNA Analysis to Become Household Item

......................

Personalized Medicine and the Death of Blockbuster Drugs

"I think that in the future the health care model will de-emphasize acute care and start emphasizing preventive care. People will know their predisposition to disease and their likelihood of becoming ill, and the health care provider will need to build a strategy with the patient that will focus more on disease prevention than symptom relief. That is an opportunity for drug market expansion. Consumers will be more likely to act upon this advice, because they will know in a very intimate way what their own likelihood of disease is.

I’m not so sure that pharmacogenomics spells the end of the blockbuster. I think that you will have blockbusters and multibusters—a number of very good drugs that are very efficacious and very safe in subpopulations."

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From pharmacogenetics to personalized medicine: a vital need for educating health professionals and the community.

" The field of pharmacogenetics will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary. Although science has delivered an impressive amount of information in these 50 years, pharmacogenetics has suffered from lack of integration into clinical practice. There are several reasons for this, including the unmet need for education at medical schools and the lack of awareness about the impact of genetic medicine on healthcare in the community. Recently, the FDA announced that it considers pharmacogenomics one of three major opportunities on the critical path to new medical products. This notion by the FDA is filling the regulatory void that existed between drug developers and drug users. However, in order to bring pharmacogenetic testing to the prescription pad successfully, healthcare professionals and policy makers, as well as patients, need to have the necessary background knowledge for making educated treatment decisions. To effectively move pharmacogenetics into everyday medicine, it is therefore imperative for scientists and teachers in the field to take on the challenge of disseminating pharmacogenetic insights to a broader audience."





Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



We all know that different people react differently to the same drugs, and some "side effects" are fatal. Other drug reactions speed disease progression and cause chronic illness. Testing to predict drug reactions always has been possible - drugs are targeted to specific proteins and it's relatively simple to test for the presence of the target protein. Such tests are part of "pharmacogenomics" or "pharmacogenetics."

However, insurance plans don't cover the tests and doctors are not taught about them in medical school. As a result, patients become guinea pigs, forced to "try" one drug after another to find one that "works" and doesn't have debilitating side effects.

The new tests and techniques make testing fast, cheap and easy - and lead the way to creating drugs tailored to each individuals' very specific needs.

In the past, pharmacogenetic science and techniques focused on race-specific bioweapons - the military and drug industry both had a stake in keeping pharmacogenetics and genomics out of the public domain.

Now, after 50 years, the science has gone mainstream and promises to benefit ordinary people. Granted, pharmacogenetics still has the potential to be abused but overall, the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks to civil liberties and privacy.



Also of interest:

Predictive Pharmacogenomics: Revolutionizing Health Care

Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects
Note: This report and others like it cost $2,000 and up, but the table of contents is informative.

11thAnnual FDA Science Forum



[edit on 10-4-2005 by soficrow]




posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Now, after 50 years, the science has gone mainstream and promises to benefit ordinary people. Granted, pharmacogenetics still has the potential to be abused but overall, the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks to civil liberties and privacy.


Anything that promotes a more detailed look at cause rather than effect is an excellent step.....


Originally posted by soficrow
However, insurance plans don't cover the tests and doctors are not taught about them in medical school. As a result, patients become guinea pigs, forced to "try" one drug after another to find one that "works" and doesn't have debilitating side effects.


There is a downfall to this technique, as over time symptom or discomfort or a zillion other factors will get lost in the patients acclimation to being drugged in one way or an other....the body at some point may be just responding to the switch in prescriptions and the introduction of different agents into the biological environment, rather than the reason for the medication in the first place.....

Wonder if some drug companies follow the NLP scientific process....'It works till it don't.'



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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Keep in mind while some blockbuster drugs are blockbusters,
some are more marketing promotions for new more expensive products.

Some of these new drugs they hype on TV ads are just variations that do about the same thing as older off-patent drugs. Sometimes they don't do it as well, sometimes they have unknown side-effects because they haven't been used as long, invariably they are more expensive and produce higher profits using gulible consumers and either gulible or corrupt doctors.

Maybe if there weren't so many people on the planet, people and corporations would be somewhat less greedy and a little more altruistic and therefore have more 'help humanity' motivations and less 'stab my neighbor in the back for profit' motives.

Remember when science was less of a business enterprise and more of a calling?
.



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by slank

Remember when science was less of a business enterprise and more of a calling?
.



Funny how things have changed that way.

...What grinds me is that cures exist - prevention is possible - but profit wins. Every time. Sucks IMO.

.



posted on Apr, 10 2005 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Originally posted by slank

Remember when science was less of a business enterprise and more of a calling?
.



Funny how things have changed that way.

...What grinds me is that cures exist - prevention is possible - but profit wins. Every time. Sucks IMO.

.


Slank, science is still a calling to some people. My girlfriend is in the medical field because she wants to help humanity. Unfortunately, people like her are becoming fewer and fewer.

Soficrow, more cures exist than we can even fathom. As I previously stated, my girlfriend works in the medical industry (for a major research organization), and I have often been privvy to a little information about the latest and greatest the medical industry has to offer. Most of these cures are simple, cheap to produce, and effective. The problem is, as you pointed out, they're not profitable. The medical industry in general is about profit, and as it were, it's more profitable to keep people sick and try and alleviate the symptoms, rather than just cure their ailments outright.

Cancer alone has probably a good 15-20 effective and cheap cures known, yet none are marketed for this very reason.



posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by obsidian468

Originally posted by soficrow

...What grinds me is that cures exist - prevention is possible - but profit wins. Every time. Sucks IMO.

.


Soficrow, more cures exist than we can even fathom. As I previously stated, my girlfriend works in the medical industry (for a major research organization), and I have often been privvy to a little information about the latest and greatest the medical industry has to offer. Most of these cures are simple, cheap to produce, and effective. The problem is, as you pointed out, they're not profitable. The medical industry in general is about profit, and as it were, it's more profitable to keep people sick and try and alleviate the symptoms, rather than just cure their ailments outright.

Cancer alone has probably a good 15-20 effective and cheap cures known, yet none are marketed for this very reason.



Can you provide any specifics?

...But also - this new trend is moving towards prevention rather than intervention. IMO - it's because so many people are becoming dysfunctional, disabled or chronically debilitated - not dead - which costs more - and something MUST be done, or else nations will go bankrupt supporting unproductive billions.

Any thoughts on this?

.



posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 08:46 PM
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Bump.

I had forgotten about this one - quite relevant now, considering the drug-eluting stent controversy.



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