Few topics inspire more heated discussion among drug developers and pharmaceutical industry watchers than the regulation of new products. For those unfamiliar with the debate, the two sides of the argument can be summarized as follows.
Industry veterans feel that excessively conservative regulators squelch innovation in a desire to cover their own behinds, while industry critics contend that regulators aren’t strict enough, and that pharmaceutical companies should be held to an even higher standard and warrant even greater supervision.
In the meantime, patients wonder why modern science hasn’t produced the medicines they so desperately need.
Now it seems there may be an answer that could satisfy everyone. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and former Genentech executive, suggests turning drug approvals from a discrete yes or no variable into a continuous moving target.
The fundamental problem with the current system, Desmond-Hellmann observes, is that…
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