I'll field this, given just today the company I work for, a leading CRO, has brought up the spectre of redundancies. Basically, the market is slitting its own throat to try and get the meagre products to be tested from Big Pharma, because Big Pharma is looking at, in cases like Pfizer, 40% of their products going generic licence in the next few years. And so far, novel drug compounds are getting harder and costlier to produce.
In other words, the biggest companies in play are unable to bring the goods to the table like a decade ago. And what they do bring, everyone is falling over themselves to test since outsourcing replaced in-house testing in most companies. In the UK, we've seen plenty of R&D sites close down simply because one company may no longer see a profit to be made in developing, say, neurological drugs.
This is the drug crunch, much like the spectrum crunch coming to telecoms.
Not to mention the interesting comments as to how we are nowhere near being able to replace animal testing.
Anyway, anyone care to suggest how we bring the cost of drugs down for developing nations whilst bringing in enough money to develop the more expensive time consuming drugs for the rarer or harder to treat diseases?
Increase the cost of treatment for diseases related to lifestyle (smoking, drinking, obesity) so that we can subsidize those that are not? If pharma does that though, we increase the total cost to the NHS which would decrease it's total budget. So perhaps we need to find a way of directly passing on the increased cost to the consumer (shock horror.... privatize the NHS more?)
I'm thinking aloud.