Better Pharma

Nov 01, 2017

To the Editor:

Some say that AI (artificial intelligence) can revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry. Could AI lead to a wonderful world of more effective and cheaper drugs? 

One has to recognize that pharma is more than science; it’s a business. Manufacturers not only have to discover and develop new drugs in their pipeline, where a great number will fail in development, they have to reward their investors, whose commitment makes the entire enterprise possible. It’s Capitalism 101, a  fact that many critics fail to grasp. If rewarding stockholders offends critics, they perhaps should divest portfolios and stuff dollars in a mattress.

In 1918 a worldwide flu pandemic killed 50 million people. Today’s vaccines work, but there are still 30,000 national deaths from the flu. New strains will continue to appear.

Some say we should shutter our borders to keep out those who may be infected due to foreign inability to provide drug therapies to their citizens. Zika took years to gain a foothold in much of Latin America. Can added surveillance provide us a jump on what’s needed to avoid many thousands of cases of microcephaly? One has to wonder.

National health directives along with our local medical groups advise people to get scheduled flu shots, in some cases getting booster shots as well.

Sal Sorce



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