Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Old drugs beat new ones, with some exceptions

Wouldn't you want to take a "classic"?

The new health care whatsis establishes an independent institute (not the FDA, I gather) to assess the EFFECTIVENESS of drugs compared with all drugs for a given condition.

Could be the ones (new) delivering most profits will not be the most effective.

In 2011, a study of 984 drugs developed since 2001 showed that only 17 were "a real advance or better."

Still, dissenters say, Gleevec for leukemia, Incivek for Hep C, and Eylea for macular degeneration are truly advances.

In early years, drugs easily beat the placebo--usually 4.5 times more effective in such measures as lowering BP or changing mental illness. But as the years marched on, the effectiveness ratio went from 4.5 times to twice as good, to 36% better than placebo.

Maybe the big discoveries--the low-hanging fruit--have been achieved. Or maybe volunteers for clinical trials are harder to treat. Usually they are in a trial because other meds failed.

But researchers say "something is going on"--drugs are less effective.

The beat goes on.

Personally I think new modalities are entering in--matching treatments to genes or using the body's immunie system to fight.

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