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40 Years Later, Still No Cure
Richman chronicles her struggles with Parkinson's disease, while also noting that new drug innovation is also affected by how vocaland determinedpatient disease groups are in putting pressure on industry and the FDA to approve new medicines.
A million doesn't put Parkinson's at the top of the disease hit parade. Nevertheless, this is an expensive disease, partly because people live with it for so long. On an individual scale, nursing care costs can be astronomical, and the newest brain surgery, in which a kind of Parkinson's pacemaker is implanted, can cost $100,000. On a national scale, the disease has been estimated to cost $5.6 billion a year, including treatment, disability pay and lost income. That figure is expected to climb steeply as baby boomers reach prime Parkinson's age.
This is all true. But it is also unfortunate that new drug approvals for some disease groups take precedence over others that may be equally (or even more deserving) but not as well organized or funded.
The solution is not to prohibit advocacybut to ensure that the drug approval process is streamlined to encourage faster and less expensive drug development for all new medicines.
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