Comments on: America’s lobbying abroad, and following a wonder drug’s money trail Steven Brill Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:30:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: OneOfTheSheep Thu, 28 Feb 2013 23:40:34 +0000 »1. What’s the story that screams out to be written or televised based on these two sentences? Hint: It’s all about how Washington has been brought to its knees by special interests.” I respectfully disagree.

The virtual takeover of the elected “representatives” of “we, the people” by “special interests” is well known if not well documented or even acknowledged. There probably is a “story” THERE.

What “gets my dander up” is that “old Europe” would presume to “tell” America, without which there would BE no “internet”, what rules an unelected “EU” would impose thereon. In my humble opinion the single appropriate answer to such nonsense is to tell them emphatically to “POUND SAND”!

“2. …a reporter unafraid to step onto this minefield would also ask…whether…[reasonable]…cost-benefit analysis…[might suggest such]…money could be spent more effectively on other healthcare needs.” Indeed. The “answer” to the original question should be to establish the incentives NECESSARY to assure that a cost-effective level of research is both predictable and sustained.

It seems patently obvious that Americans are getting the “short end of the stick” today. They underwrite the great majority (dollarwise) of advanced medical research (one way or another) which the rest of the world then enjoys much more cheaply.

Perhaps (shudder) the federal government should be competent enough (it isn’t presently) to prioritize and fund such research in conjunction with other nation-states, perhaps on a “sliding scale” according to ability to pay. That would, in all probablity, end up with today’s “Big Pharma” being reduced to manufactures of essentially generic drugs that need not be advertised or compete with each other and production would probably me mostly in India.

Oh, I forgot. It already is.

By: QuietThinker Thu, 28 Feb 2013 14:02:24 +0000 I would love to know what legal restrictions are placed on lobbyists in European nations. We have a severe problem in the United States with special interest lobbyists in the United States. If you think the oil and gas and defense industry lobbyists are bad, take a look at the article in the current issue of TIME magazine by the author (Steven Brill) of this article. He points out that the medical industry in the U.S. spends 3x more than either the infamous defense industry lobby or the infamous oil and gas lobby.

By: jledbet Wed, 27 Feb 2013 20:55:12 +0000 My name is Krysta Pellegrino, I work at Genentech. I saw your opinion piece in Reuters about the approval of our medicine Kadcyla (T-DM1), and wanted to answer a few of the questions you asked.

Kadcyla was developed here at Genentech, and the science behind it (targeting the HER2 pathway, linking antibodies to toxins) does actually span several decades. The research team for Kadcyla, led by Genentech staff scientist Mark Sliwkowski, also worked on the original research on the HER2 pathway in the 90’s, resulting in the development and approval of Herceptin in 1998. (The antibody component of Kadcyla is Herceptin.) It’s Dr Sliwkowski’s continued research on the HER2 pathway since the 90’s that has led to the development of three targeted medicines for HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer, including Kadcyla.

Genentech does license technology for the linker component of Kadcyla from Immunogen. However, Genentech is solely responsible for the development program (developing, conducting, and financially supporting all clinical trials), as well as all interactions with the FDA, and manufacturing and commercialization. Some of the research for Kadcyla was actually conducted before we had a partnership with Immunogen – there were previous “versions” of Kadcyla using different linker technology that failed in earlier testing.

Here is a link to a very in-depth article by Luke Timmerman of Xconomy that captures a lot of this, and is a good summary of the research done by Mark Sliwkowski on Kadcyla. It’s a few years old and more has happened since then, but it does address many of your questions. Hope this helps: 0/06/14/genentechs-souped-up-herceptin-t he-odyssey-toward-a-more-powerful-breast -cancer-drug/

By: AdamSmith Tue, 26 Feb 2013 14:15:57 +0000 Interesting story. Very interesting.

But the author should remember that readers, too, have busy lives.

It would have been a very powerful article, and much more valuable to the reader, if the author had gone ahead and come to a few concrete conclusions.

The author is too bashful, too coy.