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  • All Fixed Up

    Time to revisit a long-standing topic. You may well have noticed the news items about the FDA’s new programs to crack down on prescription drug counterfeiting. That sort of crime is to be expected, given the money to be made – although you really have to wonder about the human status of anyone who turns… Read More
  • Drug Assays

    How Drugs Die

    Everyone in the industry would like to do something about the failure rate of drugs in clinical trials. It would be far better to have not spent the time and money on these candidates, and the regret just increases as you move further down the process. A Phase I failure is painful; a Phase III… Read More
  • Drug Industry History

    The Old Days, Some Older Than Others

    Last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal had a very interesting article on the front page: “In Two Generations, Drug Research Sees a Big Shift.” It profiles Leo Sternbach, discoverer of the diazepams (Valium being the most famous) and other drugs, and his son, Dan Sternbach of GlaxoSmithKline. The elder Sternbach has been at this stuf… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Drug Prices and Costs – From the Mail

    Here are some of the responses to the recent posts on drug prices and research costs. First off, from Dave S.: “I’m a skeptic on the idea that the proceeds from the temporary legal monopoly represented by a patent is, in fact, used by pharmaceutical companies to finance R&D. Yes, I know it stands to… Read More
  • Easterbrook Post Updated

    I wanted to point out the update at the end of the “Cold Equations” post below, in case anyone’s interested. There’s been a lot of mail on this one, as you’d imagine – but so far, nothing defending Gregg Easterbrook’s analysis. If anyone out there is minded to do that, I’d like to hear it. Read More
  • Drug Prices

    More on Prices, High and Otherwise

    The key questions raised in the e-mail I quoted in the last post are: is it fair to fund drug research through high prices on drugs? And especially, is it fair to do so by raising prices on individual drugs, rather than across the board? My answer to the first question, as you’d guess, is… Read More
  • The Cold Equations

    Here’s a question for the folks at The New Republic: are you really sure that Gregg Easterbrook’s blog is a good idea? Just checking. He’s already stepped into so many steaming mudholes that I’m starting to think that he’s one of those born-to-be-edited types. (Or would that help?) I say this in response to today’… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    The Contact Sport of Cost Accounting

    I have just enough time to post an interesting e-mail, from Nick H. in the Netherlands, responding to the links I posted the other day about research costs. “I agree that accountants calculate costs in the way described, but accountants do a lot of accounting in ways which aren’t always quite fair to all stakeholders. Read More
  • Business and Markets

    I will do such things – What they are yet I know not. . .

    Igor Landau of Aventis must have been seen a performance of King Lear recently, to judge from his tactics to fend off Sanofi’s hostile takeover bid. Or since the following also has a “Do you feel lucky?” ring to it, maybe they’ve been watching old Clint Eastwood movies instead. Surely those have been dubbed into… Read More
  • Drug Prices

    Darn Those R&D Costs, Anyway

    I wanted to pass along a couple of recent articles that address drug pricing and research costs. It’s a subject that attracts nonsense like a cloud of gnats; every so often you have to shoo them off. Here’s a fine post from Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution: In 2003, Joseph DiMasi, Ronald Hansen, and Henry… Read More