I was reading an interesting article that was published in the SMH earlier this month by Dr Adam Dunn. He talked about how clinical research data has become gold for CROs and Pharma companies and it is all happening in secret behind closed doors. This got me thinking about the power of clinical research and the impact it has on our lives. In the end it is the pharma, biotech and research companies who decide what to research and develop. Sometimes illnesses that can be only treated are actually more profitable to companies if there is no cure. Think about it, there is much more money in treating someone for a lifetime than giving them one simple shot that may prevent that illness from forming in the first place. Also what about orphan diseases? Affecting small percentages of people, developing a drug that costs millions of dollars that pharma companies may never see the return on the investment. Of course their are non for profit CROs who rely on generous donations from individuals, organisations and (hopefully) government. And while we can take a very negative perspective of pharma companies only hungry for profits, there are companies with units devoted to developing niche products for those people affected by life altering rare illnesses. However the need that Dr Adam Dunn was emphasising is that CROs, pharmas and biotechs need to open their doors to each other and share research and information. "If researchers, doctors and patients were able to re-analyse and pool this data, there would be a whole host of questions that could start to be answered." Dr Dunn stated. If the industry could break down the walls of secrecy then maybe great things could happen.
To read Dr Dunn's article in the Sydney Morning Herald click here