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NHS drug bills could be slashed using 'ethical' pharmaceuticals

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posted on Jan, 2 2007 @ 09:01 AM

Two UK-based academics have devised a way to invent new medicines and get them to market at a fraction of the cost charged by big drug companies, enabling millions in poor countries to be cured of infectious diseases and potentially slashing the NHS drugs bill.

Sunil Shaunak, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College, based at Hammersmith hospital, calls their revolutionary new model "ethical pharmaceuticals".

It looks very worthwhile if it can be pulled off. But the main stumbling block will be the patents and the drug companies themselves, I think - this certainly isn't in their interest so they'll most likely mount some sort of defensive action to prevent their profits from disappearing. I'm also not sure what sort of effect this will have for the employees of the major pharmaceutical companies, unless the same number could be employed developing 'ethical' drugs.

However, if that can be done, it looks like a good way to cut NHS bills and offer cheap yet effective drugs to poorer nations which desperately need them. Hope for the future, perhaps.

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