Major pharmaceutical breakthroughs are exceedingly rare these days. Why? Drug companies prioritize profits over research.
A new piece by Forbes explains how prescription drug manufacturers are spending much more money on advertising than research and development (R&D).
This is leading to a constant release of new drugs that represent minimal – if any – improvement over existing treatments.
Dr. Robert Pearl writes, “For drug companies, the lure of charging high prices and generating huge profits (more than any other industry sector) distorts research priorities. As a result, pharmaceutical companies ignore many of the biggest areas of clinical need.”
Pearl points to two recent Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approvals: Aduhelm, the first new Alzheimer’s medication in over two decades, and Trodelvy, a targeted treatment for aggressive breast cancer. He notes that despite large marketing campaigns, neither drug will have a “meaningfully positive impact on the lives of people with Alzheimer’s or breast cancer.”
Meanwhile, other crucial drug categories like antibiotics are largely ignored because they don’t bring in as much of a profit.
Prescription drug companies are going to continue to put profits over the health of Americans unless lawmakers take action.