Derek Lowe gets all Mooney and Kirshenbaum about the pharmaceutical industry

i-41df858099c226f59090344849758682-lowe pharmagossip.jpg

Yes, this is my second post on Derek Lowe of my last three.

No, I am not his publicist.

But Derek has another nice post on how drug company scientists could do a better job on educating the public on the drug discovery process:

I do a lot of talking around here about how the general public doesn't really have a good idea of what goes on inside a drug company. But a conversation with a colleague has put me to thinking that this might be largely our own fault.

One of Dr. Lowe's talents is the ability to put a lot of ideas into very concise posts. So take two minutes to read about the 90% problem.

h/t and Lowe-bama courtesy of Jack at Pharmagossip

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Yeah. Those meetings actually don't happen as often as you'd think, though--lots are outsourced to WuXi, GVK, etc.

Unfortunately, design from target structure hasn't improved the hit rate, despite the hopes of many.

Most of the "general public" I meet, friends and family, think that all drug discovery scientists are sitting on a giant heap of gold after we make one single good drug. I wish, I'd have my Alpine castle and a servant named Igor by now! I've got a certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame, that's about it. From there, the conversation goes to, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" *grrrrr*

Weirdly, they still want their children to grow up "to discover a cure for cancer."

crossposting from Lowe's blog:

An excellent point. Drilling down to a more limited but necessary topic, it would be good to point out *where* compounds failed. Chem, bench model, animal model, large animal model and the *reasons* (bad efficacy, bad PK, side effects, etc, etc). This would go a long way in the animal rights discussions to show how many drugs never even get put in animals, to show where the USDA species experiments disqualify something that looked good in rat, etc.

The current impression of only the drugs which fail human clinical trials permits the disingenuous argument that the animal models are bad for passing along drugs which will fail in humans. It allows the ARA nut to ignore the many compounds which were eliminated from consideration because of the animal studies.

Derek, I know it doesn't seem professional enough for the blog but you should offer CafePress T-shirts with it. They would sell, my friend.

@Lora - great point about the frustration. But again, that's an example of what Derek was saying.

@Drug - great point. I never thought too much about communicating *where* drugs fail re ARA folks.

you should offer CafePress T-shirts

Oooh, the irony! Where's the muppethugging AP-boy shirt??????

By DrugMonkey (not verified) on 18 Aug 2009 #permalink

Drug company scientists need to spend more effort educating drug company CEO's, not the public. Give me back the good ol' days when drug houses were run by scientists, not businessmen who need to rush into the clinic in order to please shareholders.