The Pharma Playground
Ups and downs, swings, merry-go-rounds… As ever, our industry will have to deal with its fair share of sociopolitical “fun” in 2019. What can we do? Address the challenges head on and celebrate the successes with verve.
Stephanie Sutton | | Opinion
As we move into the New Year, there is a great deal for the pharma industry to be excited about. Cell therapies are proving their worth and, buoyed by success, more and more companies are beginning to pile resources into the area. Gene therapies, too, continue to impress. Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain technology, on-demand manufacturing, and more are all marching defiantly into play. Doesn’t it feel like we’re surfing the crest of an innovation wave?
But there are also major challenges. Pricing and access to medicine aside, there is the more fundamental issue of the general public not respecting science or advances in medicine. Unbelievably, measles cases are at their highest in 20 years in Europe because of the anti-vaccine movement (1). The year 2018 saw over 70 deaths related to measles – double the number of 2017. Given that measles vaccination is proven to be both safe and effective, what a waste of healthcare resources – and lives – these figures represent.
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- The Guardian, “Measles cases at highest for 20 years in Europe, as anti-vaccine movement grows,” (2018). Available at https://bit.ly/2GAt7sp. Last accessed January 8, 2019.
- EurekaAlert, “Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures,” (2018). Available at https://bit.ly/2M1wRlS. Last accessed January 8, 2019.
- India Today, “Kauravas were test tube babies, Ravana had several airports in Lanka: Andhra University VC,” (2018). Available at https://bit.ly/2CXmpZm. Last accessed January 8, 2019.