Well, kinda. Healthcare heavyweight, Pfizer has decided to stop researching neuroscience medications. As the one of the world’s top drug makers, this has the potential to negatively affect millions of people seeking medications for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Taking a New Approach
In an official statement, Pfizer claims the money saved by ending research will instead be used to start a fund dedicated to assisting with other neuroscience projects. As they plan to assist the field indirectly, Pfizer feels this is the best way to bring new drugs to market. For the time being, drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are approved because, as many agree, they are better than nothing.
Again, millions of people are seeking drugs for these neurological diseases and will no doubt be drastically affected by the abrupt change to the field of neurological research. In addition, hundreds of employees who lost their jobs. For the time being, roughly 300 world class scientists are unable to use their talents for the greater good.
What’s the Take Away?
Typically, research in the neuroscience field is high-risk, high-reward. Some question the motives behind this recent move. Some people have suggested Pfizer made off with the money saved from recent tax cuts while others feel Pfizer’s intentions are genuine. Right now there is a lot at stake. So, how will we know Pfizer’s true intentions? We’ll just have to wait and see.
In recent years, the vegan diet has come into light as a popular way to lose weight. Most people go Vegan because they are ethically against eating animals. Others have found it’s a good way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, reduce blood pressure, and protect against diabetes.
Eating potato chips doesn't mean you're doing Vegan right.
The Vegan diet is an entirely plant based diet. If it's an animal or made with an animal by product, DON'T eat it. Is it that simple? Just because foods are labeled vegan doesn't mean you don't need to watch your calories. Many processed foods are vegan but may contain high amounts of carbohydrates and calories.
Try it and see how you feel! You're not obligated to do it forever.
Here is how to get started! This diet isn't for everyone but is a good way to reduce calories and increase vegetable and fiber intake. Make sure you supplement with Vitamin B12 or eat foods fortified with it.
Biosimilars, fancy name for generic drugs, are hoping to help the US save $250B on medications by 2024 according to Express Scripts. These hopes are currently being crushed in litigation from larger pharmaceutical competitors.
Battling For The Cash Cow
Drugs like Humira ($6.5B in yearly revenue) and Embrel ($4.4B in yearly revenue) are dominating the market. These drugs have hundreds of patents on them and the pharma companies will take you to court over every one of them. These lawsuits help these companies keep their market dominance far past the typical length.
Strength in Numbers
Luckily many of these high cost drugs have as many as 15 biosimilars in the pipeline and will lead to BILLIONS in savings starting by 2020 at the latest. Congress is now passing legislation to allow for easier FDA approval of biosimilars.
We May Win The Battle but Can We Win The War?
With potential cost savings on the horizon, there is even a bigger hurdle we are going to need to tackle. New gene and DNA therapies are being invented for rare and previously untreatable diseases. Some of these drugs cost between $450,000 and $1.4M a treatment.
Why such high costs? The prices are typically based off the 10 year total of healthcare costs if they did not receive the treatment. Strap up boys and girls because we need to find some better and more cost-effective health solutions.