mercoledì 28 dicembre 2016

Is Pharma Running Out of Brainy Ideas?

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              On 4 February, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it planned to pull the plug on drug   discovery in some areas of neuroscience, including pain and depression. A few weeks later, news came that AstraZeneca was closing research facilities in the United States and Europe and ceasing drug-discovery work in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. These cutbacks by two of the top players in drug development for disorders of the central nervous system have raised concerns that the pharmaceutical industry is pulling out, or at least pulling back, in this area. In direct response to the cuts at GSK and AstraZeneca, the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders organized a meeting in late June that brought together leaders from government, academia, and private foundations to take stock. But the biggest problem, researchers say, is that there is almost nothing in the pipeline that gives any hope for a transformation in the treatment of mental illness. That's worrying, they say, because the need for better treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders is vast. Hundreds of millions of people are afflicted worldwide. Yet for some common disorders, like Alzheimer's disease, no truly effective treatments exist; for others, like depression, the existing drugs have limited efficacy and substantial side effects.

Riguardo alla decisione della glaxosmithkline di interrompere le ricerche sugli psicofarmaci, Whitaker, sempre nella sua intervista , dichiara:
"......One, the low-serotonin theory of depression has been so completely discredited by leading researchers that maintaining the story with the public has just become untenable. It is too easy for critics and the public to point to the scientific findings that contradict it.
Second, a number of pharmaceutical companies have shut down their research into psychiatric drugs [see Science, 2010], and they are doing so because, as they note, there is a lack of science providing good molecular targets for drug development. Even the drug companies are moving away from the chemical-imbalance story, and thus, what we are seeing now is the public collapse of a fabrication, which can no longer be maintained. In the statement by Dr. Pies, you see an effort by psychiatry to distance itself from that fabrication, putting the blame instead on the drug companies"

...primo, la teoria della diminuzione della serotonina nella depressione è stata completamente screditata portando i ricercatori a dire che è diventato insostenibile mantenere quella storia. Troppo facile per i critici e per il pubblico indicare le scoperte scientifiche che la contraddicono.
Secondo, un numero di compagnie farmaceutiche hanno chiuso con la ricerca di farmaci psichiatrici (Science, 2010, e lo fanno perché, come affermano, la scienza non fornisce bersagli molecolari per lo sviluppo di farmaci. Perfino le case farmaceutiche si stanno defilando dalla storia dello squilibrio chimico, e così, quello che stiamo vedendo è il collasso pubblico di una bugia, che non poteva più stare in piedi. Nell'affermazione del dott. Pies, si vede uno sforzo della psichiatria a distanziati dalla bugia, dando la colpa alle case farmaceutiche..."

a cura di Rossella Biagini

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