Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E244
  1. Steven H Woolf, MD, MPH

    From BMJ USA 2003;August:400

    These are revolutionary times in medicine, to say the least. One such phenomenon is the stark influence of the pharmaceutical industry. The exorbitant costs of drugs drain government budgets, strain corporate profits, and empty the wallets of the elderly and uninsured. Patients forego prescriptions that they cannot afford, and lives and health are surely lost in the process.

    Drug makers contend that they need the money to finance life-saving research, but fully 65% of new FDA drug applications are for “me-too” agents that differ from existing products only in terms of dosage, administration route, or combined ingredients. At a time when the economy is hobbling other industries, there is an unseemly appearance to the pharmaceutical industry's profits …

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