Saturday, 13 December 2014

Developing drugs for MS

Gavin Giovannoni, David Baker, Klaus Schmierer The problem with repurposing: Is there really an alternative to Big Pharma for developing new drugs for multiple sclerosis? Mult Scler Rel Disorder epub DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2014.11.005

If it is not feasible to develop licensed drugs to the stage that they can actually be prescribed for a new indication, can we justify, either ethically or economically, the undertaking of proof-of-concept studies using off-patent medications?  
Without a financial incentive it is very difficult to repurpose off patent drugs for a new indication. Therefore, we need a political solution to allow the repurposing of off-patent drugs by other stakeholders or Big Pharma.

We don't need to rehearse this argument, as ProfG has previously  spoken on this. It appears that academics are pretty useless at developing drug without pharma holding their hands.  There is a push to develop new treatments for progressive MS and repair. But  hopefully, this will be a dilemma that ProfG has in the very near 

10 comments:

  1. Did not other journal take this? Did you have to use your own as a last resort? Interested to hear what the community thinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re: "Did not other journal take this?"

      Yes, the Lancet published our a letter on this subject (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61621-4/abstract), which is why we decided to expand it. This is not original research but an editorial/commentary. Contrary to what you say as an editor of the journal I meant to write editorial pieces of this nature for the journal. In fact, I have recently committed myself to writing a similar piece for every issue of MSARDs in the near future.

      The good thing about living in a democratic society is that can vote with your intent; you don't have to read editorials or commentaries if you don't want to. But I am really glad you made the effort to read this one and comment on it; all activity like this is clocked by altmetrics and may go towards our impact for the next REF. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. What about a conglomerate of insurance companies paying for trial of repurposing drugs? Compared to what they pay now it seems that there would be an incentive here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have an expensive drug...the insurance companies pays for it and them raises the premiums of insurance for everyone else so they pay for it, with sufficient profile for the insurance company.

      Delete
  3. Prof G - Are you able to post the whole editorial on this blog? The link at the top of this post takes you through to a site where you have to fork out dosh to purchase a copy of the full item, and only the abstract as posted here is visible. We MSers are not necessarily in a position to subscribe to many of the "pay for read" sites which have interesting articles online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. if you look through the site for the BPA you can get much of the content.

      Delete
  4. "If it is not feasible to develop licensed drugs to the stage they can actually be prescribed for a new indication, can we justify, ethically and economically, proof-of-concept studies such as MS-STAT?"

    Yes it is. We need lots and lots of trials like this.
    That will create moral and political pressure to change the system, change the laws, or do whatever else is necessary to make such drugs available.

    Firstly, it is almost criminal that no pathway exists for drugs that are potentially so effective.
    Second, current DMDs are prescribed very carefully or rationed because they cost so much. Even the most affluent societies cannot afford the cost of modern healthcare. Once again, it is criminal that there is no way to test out-of-patent treatments and make them available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MS-STAT was finished a few years ago and I have not heard of a follow-up for a pivotal study.....As you say there needs to be a change in the system....What we need is lobbying of politicians in a co-ordinated way to create the infrastructure for change

      Delete
  5. Lobbying will have no chance of success without examples like MS-STAT.

    You need to show there are actual drugs for serious problems whose development is held up. The fact that nothing has happened since phase 2 a few years ago makes the case for change stronger, so i hope there are some more in a similar state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see if the House of Parliament respond...no action so far.

      Delete

Please note that all comments are moderated and any personal or marketing-related submissions will not be shown.