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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Changing Face of Healthcare

The pharmaceutical industry is facing significant challenges: in 2006 there were only 22 NMEs approved for use by the FDA, down from the 53 it approved in 1996. Of more concern is the fact that R&D spend by US companies in pharma research has increased from $17 billion to $43 billion alongside the decrease in productivity (1). In conjunction with this, there have been some high-profile drug withdrawals due to safety concerns, for example, Vioxx.

These factors, along with increased generic competition and patent expiration have contributed to the increased cost of developing a drug. The major stakeholders – the patients, payors, pharmaceutical industry, clinicians and regulatory agencies are all facing a period of change as they seek to address these challenges. How their reactions play out over the next few years could well set the course of drug discovery for years to come. This article identifies a beacon of hope in the current tumultuous climate, looking at how the pharmaceutical industry is using biomarkers in an attempt to begin to address these issues.

THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF BIOMARKERS

There seems little doubt that biomarkers will be one of the major drivers of pharmaceutical research and drug development in the 21st century. Biomarkers have the potential to encourage innovation, improve efficiency, save costs, and give...

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Josep Prous, Jr. has been recently promoted to the position of Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Thomson Reuters Scientific – Pharma Chem Markets. Previously he acted as Executive Vice President of Prous Science and has been directly responsible for the company’s scientific and technological strategy. After completing his PhD thesis in the field of medicinal chemistry, he pursued postgraduate studies including an MBA from ESADE. He has received various awards including The Outstanding Young People award from the International Young Chambers in its business category and participates in several boards of institutions in the life sciences.
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