US BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH SPENDING is in danger of dropping, as this excellent article outlines. Almost all major commercial innovations have been linked to university work. Strong universities have spawned clusters of technology companies across the world. For the US, who has a commitment to excellence in research, to fall behind for spurious reasons would unwind its technological competitiveness. Politicization of science is threatening this important world leadership position. 4-8
COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES CYNICALLY TARGET THE SICK. High-priced drugs such as cancer medicines are popular among counterfeiters. In some countries around the world, these fake meds are a significant portion of available drugs. Each year the criminal organizations behind them get more sophisticated at breaking supply chains. Enforcement by Pharma or regulatory agencies has been chronically underfunded. The very least a consumer can do is to rigorously avoid online pharmacies, or buying medicines in some notorious countries. It is time that vigilance against these products became stronger.
ONE THIRD OF EU PATIENTS NEEDING A RARE DISEASE DRUG WILL HAVE DIFFICULTY getting the drug paid for as the EU tightens reimbursement on costly drugs. Different countries have different criteria on this controversial issue. Determining what is a 'fair' return for an innovator appears to be a consideration for some regulators. Without incentives, biopharma companies would not go after diseases with small populations. Patient groups are understandably concerned when drug access is limited, and a number of them have actually paid for R&D and clinical trials for these drugs (500 M USD/yr).
SMART NANO MACHINES DRIVE THE USB STICK DNA SEQUENCER that may revolutionize our world by providing cheap and fast DNA sequences. Calling it brilliant is an understatement. The pure leap in technology is simply breathtaking. The horse has bolted from the stable even while the debate continues about what we do with the animal. It will not go back, so this is here to stay. Whether we like it or not, DNA sequences are going to become an ever hotter topic in the future.