Tropical diseases like Chagas affect one billion people. Why don’t we have better drugs?


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6 comments

  1. Joel Lexchin

    Here’s another example of the distorted sense of priorities when we leave drug development to private companies. One of the older medicines for treating African sleeping sickness is eflornithine but its production was discontinued when it failed to show any usefulness as a treatment for cancer. (There wasn’t any money to be made selling it for sleeping sickness.) Then it was discovered that it was very effective as a depilatory agent (for the removal of unwanted facial hair in women). That made it commercially successful and manufacturing started up again and there was a side deal to make it available for sleeping sickness. For drug companies removing unwanted facial hair is more important than treating a potentially fatal disease.

  2. Rob Murray

    Research is now being driven by shareholder preferences which means working on areas than insure quick sure profits. There is a lot of time and money involved in developing new antibiotics and vaccines and then where is the business model if you have cured something? SEE: The “Money Culture” in Academic Biomedical Research, A drive for revenue is damaging basic science, Opinion, Rubenson D, The Scientist.com 19-03-29: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/opinion–the-money-culture-in-academic-biomedical-research-65678
    This for profit money drive takes medical research away from cure to ‘a drug for every symptom’. In Canada, relative to Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases [TBD’s], the private Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease of Canada [AMMI], is an extension of the ‘do not cure’ medical money machine. They offer opinion and poorly designed research to support the ‘do not treat the disease, drug the symptoms’ highly profitable model and, their influence is entrenched at every level of medical leadership in Canadian university medical schools and within the Public Health Agency of Canada. Canada is a dangerous place for the chronically ill despite the image they sell to the world. Canada prefers to ‘Farm sickness to Pharm sickness’ at the beckoning of AMMI’s partners… the private Infectious Disease Society of America and the non-transparent highly profit motivated United States Center for Disease Control, both of which are a huge part of the global medical for profit money machine.

  3. Latcham

    When you give large, for profit, corporations (pharmaceutical industry) too much power(doctors promoting their products without really understanding what they do), there should be no surprise that they start to call the shots with pricing. The medical industry has promoted a strict regime of only looking in the mainstream pharmaceutical box for answers. There is much scientific evidence available and published in medical journals that supports alternative treatments such as homeopathy and the science shows they do not have the serious and potentially fatal consequences that mainstream drugs have,in many cases). Time to start thinking and learning out of the box in the interest of the patients paying your wage. Time to start doing your homework doctors and changing how you teach new practitioners to think and assess and prescribe. Maybe if this industry started putting the patient first and did a proper assessment up front we wouldn’t be looking at rising pharmaceutical costs and the proprietary shortages created by the drug companies.
    It’s very frustrating to see that most medical professionals still want to think in the box, and yet they think things can change?

    • Rob Murray

      Do you have any actual evidence that homeopathy works or is this your opinion? If it is opinion please don’t call it evidence.

  4. Paul Henry Webster

    Thanks for an interesting article! I’d be interested in hearing Dr. Nickerson’s views on the Trudeau’s government’s initiatives/non-initiatives regarding national strategies to cope with pharmaceutical prices.

  5. Paul Henry Webster

    Oops..sorry about the typo there. Meant to say “Trudeau government’s” not “Trudeau’s government’s”.

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