Monday, January 03, 2005

A drug researcher looks toward 2005

Derek Lowe, a pharmaceutical chemist, reflects on his field and its prospects in 2005.
Silly me. I thought that 2003 was a bad year for the drug industry, and said so here a year ago. How was I to know that 2004 would make it look like a bowl full of strawberry ice cream? That trend had better not continue, or by about 2007 I'm going to be wearing a paper hat and standing behind a french-fry machine.

On one level, things can't continue to deteriorate the way they did this year. The world still needs pharmaceuticals, and it still doesn't have any way to get them other than from the drug companies (large and small.) Those drugs are going to continue to have side effects (large and small!), and regulatory agencies, doctors, and patients are going to have decide case by case if those are acceptable risks or not. We can't just pull everything off the market and start over. There's no "over" to start from. So in that sense, at least, things can't go on like this.

But there are some bad events coming toward us as if they were riding on rails...

He has some interesting thoughts on how his colleagues can ride out the storm.
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