The pharmaceutical industry is spending more money than ever on research, but most of it is going to "me too" drugs, variations of what is currently available, rather than to new approaches to treating diseases.
The General Accountability Office reached that conclusion in a report, "New Drug Development." It analyzed data from all 1,264 new drug applications filed with the Food and Drug Administration from 1993 through 2004. And the GAO spoke with numerous experts in the field.
The report was released December 19.
It found that industry increased spending on research by 147 percent, to nearly $40 billion a year, but the number of new molecular entities increased by only 7 percent. Those are the new categories of drugs that often represent the greatest advance in treatment.
This was particularly troubling, the report stated, because it came during a period when completion of the human genome, advances in imaging technology, and the ability to synthesize and screen thousands of compounds for activity "created expectations that the pharmaceutical industry would soon be producing an increasing number of new and innovative drugs to more effectively treat disease."
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any idea where that report is?
At least I could not find it on their website http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/app_processform.php?app_id=docdblite_subhead&page=All
finally found it: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-49
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