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Prescription for ChangeThe Looming Crisis in Drug Development$
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Michael Kinch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630625

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630625.001.0001

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Three Views of a Train Wreck

Three Views of a Train Wreck

(p.226) Chapter Eleven Three Views of a Train Wreck
Prescription for Change

Michael Kinch

University of North Carolina Press

Despite and arguably because of the enormous public health benefits arising from the introduction of new medicines, the industry is in the midst of crisis. We detail in this chapter the decline in research and development efficiency, which has been termed “Eroom's Law,” a playful inversion of the bettern known Moore's Law of Computing. An explanation of declining efficiency follows as is a brief summary of some remedies taken by many biopharmaceutical entities, including the abandonment of therapeutics targeting particularly difficult indications such as Alzheimer's disease and antibiotics. We also convey how the industry has developed into a sort of food chain, with smaller companies and government grants supporting the earliest stages of research, which are then acquired by medium-sized companies, which in turn are consolidated into large companies. This food chain is fundamentally in doubt based on shrinking Federal spending on research combined with a decline in venture capital support for early-stage start-ups.

Keywords:   Eroom's Law, Alzheimer's disease, Antibiotics, Pharmaceutical Industry Consolidation, Venture Capital

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