New business models to find cures and lower healthcare costs: a role for drug repurposing.

AuthorBloom, Bruce

The current medical solution industry, with amazing scientists and businesspeople working as hard as they can, is not creating treatments and cures for most of the world's diseases. Pharma in 2013 is using a fifty-year-old business model to leverage current knowledge and technology, but that is generating few new treatments, and each treatment increases healthcare costs. We have created an incentive system that focuses treatment development on patients that can be treated with expensive consumables for long periods of time. That system leaves most patients without hope of getting a for-profit medical solution. We have to do something different if we expect to create more treatments and cures and lower healthcare costs.

There are two ideas that could be merged to create a new incentive system. The first idea is to focus on finding new uses for the thousands of drugs and nutraceuticals already available for human use. This is far cheaper, safer and faster than trying to create a new chemical entity. There are lots of these Rediscovery Research[TM] opportunities but no simple way to share them, work on them together, or get them funded. The second idea is to fund this clinical research from the healthcare cost savings it could create. Payer systems track diseases and drugs by code, so it is possible to track the costs savings generated by a patient taking an approved "new" repurposed treatment to alleviate...

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