File 5, BIO `06 - On “Chindia;” is Big Pharma a Dinosaur?

April 10, 2006 Today's luncheon session, and presentation on "the future of biotech" by G. Steven Burrill  provided some food for thought on the issues shaping biotech----principal among them being the rise of personalized therapeutics, and all that go along with them. In the future, Burrill said, companies will need theranostic tools to go along with any new drug, allowing them to identify respondent subsets of the patient population. He also pointed out the fact that pharmacovigilance is the top priority in the post-Vioxx era. "The biggest challenge is no longer getting products out to market, but keeping them on the market," he said. Unfortunately, the presentation was marred by a discussion of China and India, in which the two were referred to, collectively, as  "Chindia" ... there's a way to lose half your audience. Hype also entered the equation, with the statement that "Big Pharma are the dinosaurs of our generation."  Burrill says they're "disintegrating" pieces of their operations, to emerge instead as powerful distributors of healthcare, globally.  He is not the first to say this....and demand for outsourcing is clearly growing.  But the statement seems just a bit exaggerated, and there are those who straddle both worlds, and find that each can complement/contribute to the other, as this article from Drug Discovery magazine makes plain. -AMS
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  • <p>There are a number of serious efforts out there to keep people off narcotics. That extends to pharmaceuticals also, as some companies want to keep people off generic narcotics. The biggest pharmaceutical companies, alias “Big Pharma” are issuing drug coupons to keep individuals using brand name narcotics that have gone off-patent. </p>

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