In the Face of a Pandemic, Can Pharma Shift Gears?


Can pharma industry rise to the occasion? 


I have been mentioning earlier- the prices are “obscene” only because of perverted incentives. It is foolhardy to expect them to invest in diseases which are not of immediate concern and governments don’t see any “returns on investment”. Diabetes and Insulin (or conversely “biologicals”) will see higher rates of return for companies because the immediate market suffers from them.

For pharma, however, the COVID-19 pandemic is a moment of both great opportunity and great challenge. If the industry reacts quickly and responsibly, it may have the chance to redeem a reputation that’s been tarnished for years by, for instance, illegal marketing practices, corruption scandals, and obscene pricing on vital drugs. However, if pharma companies fail to demonstrate that they truly put patients’ needs first and that they are willing and able to successfully collaborate with other players in the race to develop treatments and vaccines, their legitimacy will be fundamentally questioned. Critics will ask, “What is the point of an industry that is often one of the most profitable if it falls short when we need it most?”

For the same reason, investments in preventive and palliative healthcare have suffered because there’s money in treating than a reduction of “patients”. As such, there’s a whole industry of pseudoscience that’s sprung up for “anti-ageing” whereas you just need common sense and recommended dietary practices.

I doubt if pharma industry, as a whole may redeem itself. But its an interesting thought provoking article.

via In the Face of a Pandemic, Can Pharma Shift Gears?