Big Pharma's personalized-medicine consortium: Is it for real?

Medical treatment that’s tailored to your individual genetic profile — “personalized medicine,” for short — has been a long, long time in coming, as I’ve noted here and here. Part of the reason, of course, is that personalizing medicine cuts against the economic interests of major players in the medico-industrial complex, particularly the large biotech and pharma companies whose business models have long been based on the prospect of getting as many patients as possible to take large doses of their drugs.

Is Big Pharma down for the count?

Between the sweeping job cuts across Big Pharma, falling stock prices, stalled drug approvals, safety problems with drugs like Avandia and an expected avalanche of generic competitors to billion-dollar brand-name drugs, it’s certainly starting to look like the traditional drug industry’s best days are behind it.

How drug reps do that thing they do

Two fascinating papers in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine turn a spotlight on the practice of “detailing” — the office visits that drug-industry salespeople use to flatter and manipulate their way into the good graces of the doctors they want to influence.

Patent fight: Tech vs. pharma, round one

A long-awaited struggle over patent reform appears to be upon us, the Washington Post reports today (hat tip to the WSJ’s Health Blog). It pits the tech industry against pharmaceutical/biotech companies over intellectual property protections that, depending on where you stand, are either largely a nuisance or an industry’s lifeblood.