marcstck wrote:Just this week I spoke with a prominent MS researcher who was very concerned because he MS drug market has become quite saturated, and big Pharma is pulling back from MS research because there's not much room left in the market. This could be catastrophic for research into multiple sclerosis.
I must admit that my family is part of the problem here because we have accepted unproven and likely ineffective drugs in progressive MS.
We are basically rewarding drug companies for good marketing rather than for good research. If you are a pharmaceutical company, what is the point of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in new progressive MS research if idiots like me are willing to accept $50,000/year ineffective drugs [by proxy].
...but lets take it the other way around. Lets say there was nationalized healthcare, and the US government refused to pay for any disease modifying therapy, approved or experimental, for non-relpasing progressive MS. You and I would be furious! However, the government would be right in the sense that this decision would not only save money but also would motivate pharmaceutical companies.
Let me phrase it another way. Lets say that you are biogen. What is easier?
1) convincing [via clever marketing] a 65 year old with progressive MS for the last 25 years with no new or enhancing MRI lesions or clinical relapses for the last 25 years to take avonex/tysabri/tecfidera
2) Developing a groundbreaking drug that remyelinates, prevents axonal/neuronal degeneration and proving that it works in two expensive phase III trials
I think the answer is obvious.