The Public Needs to Know
July 26, 2012
The public must know
According to surveillance Epidemiology and End Results, it was estimated that 1,596,670 men and women would be diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and 571,000 patients would die of cancer in the same year. (SEER) These ugly facts stress the need to come up with programs to develop new drugs for these patients.
The economic issues, special needs and the process of developing a new drug for cancer patients make it difficult to undertake such a venture, thus eroding the benefits reaped from such a program.
A. 1. The economic issues
It will cost a company $360 on average to develop a drug from the pre clinical stages to the time it gets to the patient. Mind you this is just one drug. (Association) These costs are prohibitive bearing in mind that numerous drugs are needed for different cancer patients. The program requires a state of the art laboratory to do the preclinical testing for the drugs. Qualified employees will have to be employed and these are not cheap at all.
A. 2. Special needs of cancer patients
Cancer patients differ significantly from other patients. Their immune system is usually under attack from the invading tumors. Their immunity is compromised. Their appetite is normally low, further depleting their nutrional reserve. These patients are always sickly, making it difficult for them to work and thus compounding the economic problems. Most cannot afford the expensive drugs. Their health makes it very difficult to tolerate the drugs, often leading to poor compliance because of serious adverse effects.
A. 3. The process of developing new drugs
This is a long process involving several steps.
A. Establishing a laboratory to do the preclinical research.
The laboratory must be well equipped with the necessary tools to test the drugs using test tubes and cells in the initial stages. Highly qualified researchers,...