Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Recycle, Reuse, Republish | Main | A Few Questions For My Fellow Pharma Chemists »

January 31, 2008

Drugs and Money

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

Over at Megan McArdle's site at The Atlantic Monthly, there's been a run of posts on the pharmaceutical industry - touched off, I think, by this one from over here. Her readers are a diverse bunch, some of whom seem to stop by because they can't stand the posts there but can't seem to help commenting on them. So there are some interesting wrangles going on in the comments to this post on the return on investment for R&D, and the follow-up on why we can't necessarily just fund all of it with that marketing money. The next in the series was on the problem, which may have no solution, of getting other countries to pick up more of that investment than they do, and that was followed by one about why nationalizing the whole drug industry might not work out well, either. And today's entry is about what that return on investment might actually be, with an appropriate warning about survivor bias. (I'll add my two cents to that debate by pointing out the notorious Wall Street Journal article which suggested that the entire biotech industry, net, has lost money so far).

There have been some thought-provoking comments to these, some infuriatingly dense ones, and some from people who clearly have done drug discovery for a living. But perhaps my favorite comment of the bunch, in an otherwordly way, has been this one, from one "Mintun":

"Really, what drugs are there left to develop? I think the state of medicine we have now is pretty good now. If we can guarantee most people a reasonably good shot at 80 or 90 years before they die, what else needs to be done? It seems like we are shoveling resources down a pit to get ever diminishing returns? I'd be happy to live under the status quo of the medical technology for the rest of my life. In fact if it means I pay less for insurance etc. over my lifetime it seems like a good trade."

Other people have already let him have it for that one, which saves the rest of us some work. . .

Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets | Drug Prices


COMMENTS
POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets
Allergan Escapes Valeant
Vytorin Actually Works
Fatalities at DuPont
The New York TImes on Drug Discovery
How Are Things at Princeton?
Phage-Derived Catalysts
Our Most Snorted-At Papers This Month. . .