Bismillah,  alhamdulillah: when the fourth and last runner crosses the finish line who deserves to be called the winner? The last runner in the relay race? The first? All of them? Most people will choose the last answer. The last runner may be the fastest but all the four runners are equally rewarded.

Why do we say all four are equal winners? Because we think it is fair. Fairness allows the next generation of runners to come forward and participate in the sport and the sport continues. Turn your mind to the development of drugs,  a relay which usually starts with public money funded first few runners. The runner who crosses the finish line is usually a large private company. The reward system limits the profits to the person who makes it across the finish line. Only the last runner gets the reward. What are the consequences of such a system to future drug development? A very interesting podcast by the BMJ which discusses the development of a Hepatitis C drug called Sofosbuvir and a company called Gilead.

Have a listen…

How does maximizing shareholder value distort drug development?
The BMJ Podcast
http://feeds.bmj.com/~r/bmj/podcasts/~5/u7L1mRbRVqs/275736626-bmjgroup-have-drug-companies-become-investment-funds.mp3

With the emergence of sofobuvir, a new direct acting antiviral, treatment for Hepatitis C infection is currently undergoing it’s greatest change since the discovery of the virus 25 years ago.

However…

Subscribe the podcast http://feeds.bmj.com/bmj/podcasts

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