|Selected news articles which highlight important policy issues.||
News: Weekly Archives
News for the week of 06-15-2006
Betting on a New Cancer Drug
This article is a wonderful example of the boombust cycle of patent driven medical innovation. The lure of patentprotected profits gives companies the incentive to engage in risky biomedical research, to say nothing of navigating the rocky shoals of FDA approval.
Still, all good things must end, and when patents expire generic competition sends a branded drug's price into free fall, producing yet more consumer surplus. And, of course, patent expiries send companies scrambling to come up with new medicines that can help offset lost revenues. Allinall this is a winwin situation for consumers and companies alike.
BristolMyers Squibb is just one of many companies adjusting to major patent expirations in recent years. Once an industry leader in oncology drugs, BMS is desperately trying to regain its position after key patents on drugs like Taxol expired. In fact, BMS is betting that its rebirth will be lead by a new drug designed to improve onand compete withone of the leading cancer drugs on the market, Gleevec.
For decades, BristolMyers was the king of oncology. Then it lost patent protection on its blockbuster medications and its lead in research to nimbler biotech companies. Now the company is hoping that a longplanned comeback in cancer research can drive a turnaround from one of the darkest periods in its corporate history.
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