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Alterations in Processes and Priorities Needed for New Drug Development

Jennifer Fisher Wilson
[+] Article and Author Information

Science Reporter, Annals of Internal Medicine


Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.


Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(10):793-796. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-145-10-200611210-00024
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During the 1990s, the U.S. drug industry launched one big new drug after another—the list included statins, proton-pump inhibitors, antidepressants, osteoporosis therapies, and nonsedating antihistamines. Pharmaceutical companies predicted that the number of new drugs would continue to grow in the years to come, a prediction supported by the investment of more than $100 billion in drug research and development by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), public institutions, and private companies. Furthermore, scientific advances related to combinatorial chemistry, genomics, and proteomics promised to make drug discovery and development more efficient.

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Our failure to provide drugs to developing countries
Posted on November 22, 2006
Kenneth A Hoekstra
Western States Chiropractic College
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

In Jennifer Wilson's article titled Alterations in Processes and Priorities Needed for New Drug Development, the author describes some of the failures of the pharmaceutical companies in drug discovery, development and distribution (1). All aspects of industrialized nations (i.e. medical, economic, business, political) have taken two steps backwards for each and every step forward in the promotion of drug discovery and/or distribution for developing countries (2-4). While it can be argued that pharmaceutical companies may have no special obligation to third world countries and drug discovery and distribution (5, 6), a greater obligation to do no harm, and promote and extend the fundamental rights and values that we (i.e. industrialized nations) cherish supersedes such philosophical thought. To this date, developed countries have failed (3).

1. Wilson JF. 2006. Alterations in Processes and Priorities Needed for New Drug Development. Ann Intern Med 145: 793-796.

2. Nyigo VA, Malebo HM. 2005. Drug discovery and developments in developing countries: bottlenecks and way forward.Tanzan Health Res Bull., 7(3):154-8.

3. O'dowd A. Doha Declaration has failed to deliver cheap drugs to developing countries, Oxfam says. 2006. BMJ, 333(7577): 1036.

4. Silversides A. Canada falters on promise of AIDS drugs for Africa. 2006. CMAJ, 175(7):726.

5. Lee Chang P.2006. Who's in the business of saving lives? J Med Philos. 31(5):465-82.

6. Ashcroft RE. 2005.Access to essential medicines: a Hobbesian social contract approach. Developing World Bioeth. 5(2):121-41.

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

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