Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Infographic: Mortality and Causes of Death: 2015 & 2030

Infographic: Mortality and Causes of Death: 2015 & 2030 | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

An infographic using data from the World Health Organization, showing how diseases and causes of death will develop between now and 2030.

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WHO re #Pharma: "Very Little Breakthrough Innovation" in Past 10-20 Years!

WHO re #Pharma: "Very Little Breakthrough Innovation" in Past 10-20 Years! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Pharmaceuticals is an extraordinarily profitable business.

The most profitable, in fact, looking at figures for last year.


But for how much longer is the question occupying the minds not just of big pharma executives, but of health professionals and governments the world over.


There are already signs of trouble ahead - thousands of job losses and widespread consolidation are hardly characteristics of an industry in rude health.


But this is just the beginning of a process that could fundamentally change the pharmaceutical sector forever.


'Little breakthrough'

For a start, big pharmaceutical companies are no longer providing the service they once did.


"The system has served us well in terms of developing good new medicines, but in the past 10-20 years there has been very little breakthrough in innovation," says Dr Kees de Joncheere at the World Health Organisation.


Of the 20 or 30 new drugs brought to the market each year, "many scientists say typically three are genuinely new, with the rest offering only marginal benefits," he says.


This dearth of genuinely new potential blockbuster drugs is a grave problem for big pharmas, and of course society at large, particularly given the industry is falling off a patent cliff the like of which it has never seen.

Pharma Guy's insight:


This, again, sounds like "Crying all the way to the bank." Read more about that here.

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WHO Advises Not to Name Diseases After People, Places, & Occupations

WHO Advises Not to Name Diseases After People, Places, & Occupations | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
A new set of recommendations advises medical researchers to steer clear of words that might sow panic—“fatal,” “epidemic,” “unknown.”


Also, be wary of naming diseases after researchers, towns, and victims...


In 1932, a trio of New York physicians published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association that described a new form of bowel disease. The illness came to be named after only one of them, the paper’s lead author, Burrill B. Crohn, who now numbers among such illustrious medical eponyms as Alois Alzheimer, Hakaru Hashimoto, and the town of Lyme, Connecticut. The fame appears not to have gone to Crohn’s head. At home, according to one of his granddaughters, Susan Dickler, he remained a proponent of good digestive health. “He was really into roughage,” she said. Abby Pratt, another of his granddaughters, told me that his reaction to a visit from one high-profile patient, Marilyn Monroe, was indicative of his temperament. “When he got home, my grandmother said to him, ‘Burrill, what was she like?’ ” Pratt told me. “And he said, ‘I don’t know, I only remember the plates’—meaning the X-rays. So he was not a celebrity watcher, and nor did he want to be a celebrity himself.”


If the World Health Organization has its way, celebrity through nosology—the classification of diseases—may soon go the way of consumption, dropsy, and other outdated diagnoses. In May, the W.H.O. released a set of best practices that prohibits the use of eponyms in the naming of new illnesses. The idea is to avoid creating stigmas that might affect trade or tourism or lead to social awkwardness. “I’m rather personally glad that I’m not Mr. Creutzfeldt,” Kazuaki Miyagishima, a W.H.O. director, told me, referring to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative brain disorder. Having such a name, he said, might take a lot of explaining, along the lines of, “There is nobody suffering from the disease in my family. If you want to marry me, you can marry me without risk.” The new guidelines replace references to people, places, and specific occupations with generic descriptive terms and the names of pathogens. The result is a straightforward designation such as “novel coronavirus respiratory syndrome” (although that one comes close to violating the pronounceability rule). The W.H.O. also advises namers to steer clear of words that might sow panic—“fatal,” “epidemic,” “unknown.”

Pharma Guy's insight:


Did WHO also recommend avoiding names with catching acronyms such as PGAD? http://bit.ly/45kQi8 

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Today is World Hepatitis Day: Access to New Treatments for Hep C Difficult, Says WHO

Today is World Hepatitis Day: Access to New Treatments for Hep C Difficult, Says WHO | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Every year on 28 July, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes.

Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E – affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year. But hepatitis remains largely ignored or unknown.


In April this year, WHO issued new recommendations on treatment of Hepatitis C. In May, World Health Assembly delegates from 194 governments adopted a resolution to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of viral hepatitis.


On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2014, WHO and partners will urge policymakers, health workers and the public to 'Think again' about this silent killer.


World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on specific actions, such as:


  • strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases;
  • increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration of the vaccine into national immunization programmes;
  • coordinating a global response to viral hepatitis.


The date of 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honour of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus.

Pharma Guy's insight:


From the Hep C Fact Sheet:


Scientific advances have led to the development of new antiviral drugs for hepatitis C, which are much more effective, safer and better-tolerated than existing therapies. These therapies, known as oral directly acting antiviral agent (DAAs) therapies simplify hepatitis C treatment by significantly decreasing monitoring requirements and by increasing cure rates. Although the production cost of DAAs is low, the initial prices set by companies are very high and likely to make access to these drugs difficult even in high-income countries.

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