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Useful And Marketable, New And Traditional

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Author(s): Ajai R. Singh | Shakuntala A. Singh

Journal: Mens Sana Monographs
ISSN 0973-1229

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 113;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Focus on marketability rather than usefulness | Funding For New | Not Traditional | Therapies | Academia

ABSTRACT
In this section we look into the difference between useful and marketable entities, how industry funds new and not traditional therapies and what impact this has on biomedical advance and patient care. Useful And Marketable Focus on the marketability rather than usefulness of products is an area of concern. There is an inevitable slant to produce not necessarily useful but marketable products that ensure the profitability of industry and the research grants outflow to academia. "…as a society, we need to think about the consequences, for health research as a whole, of the strong focus on academic-industry partnerships to produce marketable products"( Baird, 2003). A disturbing but very relevant finding in this connection is that drugs which can be called "substantial improvements" over available treatments is only, mark the finding, a measly 6% (Patented Medicine Prices Review Board annual reports [1988-2001]). So it is understandable that companies want to control data collection and dissemination (Baird, 2003). Which means all the hype touted around 'new', 'improved' and fancy explanations of phamacokinetics in industry-churned glossy monographs and brochures, is so much hot air. For all the money poured in by industry and research carried out by academia and all the reams over clinical drug trials published all over the world, just 6% is any worthwhile improvement. The rest is, well, trash, suitably packaged to hold attention and boost sales and make for seminar material for CME speakers and industry-sponsored trips all over the country and abroad.Also, it makes eminent sense for 'reported outcomes of sponsored trials to highly favour the manufacturer's product' (Procyshyn et al., 2004). So we know why it makes sound business sense to control both the data collected and the data disseminated, for industry must at all times appear to forward research and always retain control over what is published, never mind it makes very little material difference to patient welfare. In any case, that is at best an embarrassing reality necessary to negotiate and at worst the cause of so much industry-academia straining of relations on ethical grounds. If only this irksome necessity did not exist how much better for every one around! How much more will academia need to remove its blinkers?[No abstract available.]
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