The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

UPDATE: For readers looking for information instead of a cynical blog post, here are some links:

Maybe more government is the answer

“The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines.” — Federal Research Center Will Help Develop Medicines

Innovation is too slow, you see, so we need to bring in the US Federal Government.

Maybe they can fund it with a tax on drug companies.

UPDATE 26 January 2011, because it seems marginally relevant:

“Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday that it would cut 1,900 jobs, or 6 percent, of its U.S. workforce in the wake of a series of disappointments in its drug development pipeline, triggering a restructuring of pharmaceutical commercial and manufacturing operations.” — Abbott to cut 1,900 jobs in restructuring
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5 thoughts on “The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

  1. There are drugs that private companies aren’t interested in developing themselves, due to profitability. Or lack thereof. Particularly anything that outright cures something–maintenance drugs are much more profitable. That doesn’t mean people don’t need them.

    • Yes, that’s certainly true and always has been. That kind of systemic market failure is something government can try to correct, and if that’s what this turns out to be, great. But I’m afraid this is more an automatic big-government response to the drug companies’ decline in innovation over the past fifteen years. Is that decline because over-regulation has made them risk-averse, or a result of litigation risk, or unwise tax policy, or is it that the low-hanging fruit has been picked? I assume no better of big business than of big government, but I’d rather see the government encourage private innovation by cutting taxes, or capping punitive damages, than by setting up a National Center.

    • The regulations required to get a drug approved have gotten thicker and thicker, and they’ve shown a tendency to yank approval– if you’re worried about profitably, start yelling at the feds to stick to making sure that the drugs don’t hurt, rather than that they’re effective “enough.”

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