Academics and Pharma. Should we be repurposing drugs?

#MSResearch #MSBlog Should we be repurposing drugs for MS? Your vote is needed!

In the Last weeks we saw the announcement of the pricing of BG-12 at about $55,000 p.a. but as we also heard the dimethyl fumarate is cheap as chips. I could buy 100g of non-clinical grade chemical for £34 = 200 days worth of treatment. 

As one of the readers pointed about drug pricing out the price that pharma charge no longer has anything to do with the cost of manufacture of the drug, or cost of development, which is not cheap and pharma need to recoup costs. However there is fumaderm, which will be considerably cheaper than the Biogen drug. 

A cheaper alternative to expensive DMT could save the NHS millions. 

Then there is the issue of statins, which is out of patent, will a company develop them for MS?

If academics invent drugs they will at some point become pharmaceutical industry or get some pharmaceutical company involvement, but should they start the process. I have views on this what are your views? 

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  • Pricing never had to do with manufacturing costs.
    This is just one part.
    Prices also have to deal with other products on the market.

    So it is no wonder that BG-12 is in the area of standard treatments as Interferones. This price is accepted.

    The only thing that can be done is to use market mechanics. e.g. a leak of information were to buy Dimethylfumarat (which can be purchased at any chemical compound distributor).

    In Germany some of these informations already start to circle around.

    So beat this price with an increased supply.

    • Prices have to deal with other products on the market……
      Therefore, there is an effective cartel, which always increases prices.
      "My drug is better than your drug so you will pay more for it!" "I will eek out every last drop of cash".

      Leaking distributors is not the way to do this as there are rules about prescribing. If there is a licensed product then Doctors should be using them, otherwise they will be prescribing for example street cannabis over sativex….Go down the mangrove in London..there I leaked a distribution site.

    • "Pricing never had to do with manufacturing costs.
      This is just one part.
      Prices also have to deal with other products on the market."

      Don't forget the high cost of employing large marketing teams, the cost of which exceeds a typical pharma company budget by at least 2:1.
      Gotta pay those reps to cajole docs into prescribing their products!

  • We as scientists must be involved in pushing the development of new/generic or those that have failed in other indications but will be of use in MS and also the repurposing of existing drugs for use in MS. We literally can't afford to leave this up to big pharma as the bottom line and profit maximisation will always take precedence over clinical need. This needs to change and it's up to us to push this forward. The pharma industry operates effectively as a cartel and this must be broken if the pace of drug development for MS is to be maintained.

  • Question for Prof G:

    What prevents neurologists from prescribing Fumaderm to MS patients? I realize up til now, fumarate did not go through clinical trials for MS (though there are examples of other drugs being prescribed that haven't been through full trials yet). But now that BG-12 has been approved, and it works through the same chemical (MMF), why wouldn't a doctor prescribe this?


    • Hope this is not from Leicester central!

      This site gets no money from any one, so stop writing nonsense!!!.

      If you have something useful to say..say it.
      But no one is interested in drivel, including me

  • “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”
    ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

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