Marcia Angell Summary

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Marcia Angell’s lecture on the truth about drug companies denounces the pharmaceutical industry for, among many things, its greed, deceit, and lack of innovation. Understandably, her lecture has been criticized for its unfair portrayal and vilification of these drug companies. While some of her qualms with the pharmaceutical industry are subjective and short-sighted, most of her problems and related solutions are supported with data and historical evidence. She specifically outlines two main reforms to drug policy: forcing drug companies to compare new drugs with old ones before FDA approval and regulating the prices of drugs, especially those stemming from publicly funded research. One of Marcia Angell’s main complaints with the pharmaceutical …show more content…
It would also reduce the enormous marketing expenditures on these “me-too” drugs and force the pharmaceutical industry to begin researching genuinely innovative drugs. Opponents of this policy cite the possibilities for increased safety and efficacy or decreased harmful side effects in researching “me-too” drugs. Also, only one out of five projects that pass into clinical development actually reach the market as a product. This uncertainty factor creates a tendency of the pharmaceutical industry to focus on only minor innovations because of their greater probability of success, at the expense of conducting more revolutionary research that carries a higher risk of failure but also may yield greater health improvements1. In addition, many doctors feel there are benefits to having multiple drugs in the same class to choose from. If a patient is unable take a certain medication due to adverse side effects, it is possible another option may work …show more content…
She asserts that only around 15% of innovative drug research is completed by drug companies themselves. Most of the important drug research comes from NIH funded labs or foreign labs. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable industries in the country, earning an average profit of 18% of their sales income, whereas most other trades average less than 1%. Approximately 15% of most pharmaceutical company earnings are diverted to R&D, whereas around 33% was allocated to marketing and administration. Therefore, high and rising prices of drugs are mainly the result of obscene profiting and marketing of drug companies, not research and development, as they traditionally

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