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‘Novel Paradigms’ Needed To Increase R&D Funding For Neglected Diseases

Describing two recent articles criticizing the pharmaceutical industry for not spending more for research and development (R&D) into neglected diseases, John LaMattina, former president of Pfizer Global Research and Development, writes in a Forbes opinion piece, “People have the view that Big Pharma is a cash generating machine. But, the biopharmaceutical industry is being squeezed by patent expirations, higher regulatory hurdles for their experimental drugs, and ever increasing demands for showing the value of new medicines, … causing companies to slash R&D budgets.” He continues, “I think that the private sector could be doing more,” and he describes a model for neglected disease R&D involving academic institutions and private donor funding. LaMattina concludes, “[T]o expect Big Pharma to do a significant amount more R&D in neglected diseases is not economically feasible in the current environment. It is going to take novel paradigms to generate greater progress in this field” (10/26).