« | »

Obama Decrees A Drug Research Center

Buried in the ‘Money & Policy’ section of the New York Times:

Federal Research Center Will Help Develop Medicines

January 22, 2011

The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines.

The new effort comes as many large drug makers, unable to find enough new drugs, are paring back research. Promising discoveries in illnesses like depression and Parkinson’s that once would have led to clinical trials are instead going unexplored because companies have neither the will nor the resources to undertake the effort.

We suspect that ‘Big Pharma’ is not paring back on research because it can’t find enough new drugs. We suspect it has more to do with the onerous regulations that have been heaped upon them by the federal government over the years. And which are only being exacerbated by Obama-care.

But instead of getting out of their way and letting these private companies do what they have been doing so amazingly well for decades, the administration has decided that we need yet another bureaucracy.

Can anybody tell us what great discoveries have ever come out of a government bureaucracy?

The initial financing of the government’s new drug center is relatively small compared with the $45.8 billion that the industry estimates it invested in research in 2009. The cost of bringing a single drug to market can exceed $1 billion, according to some estimates, and drug companies have typically spent twice as much on marketing as on research, a business model that is increasingly suspect…

Don’t worry, this drug center’s budget won’t remain "relatively small" for long. Just wait until they start looking for the cure for AIDS, for instance.

The job of the new center, to be called the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, is akin to that of a home seller who spruces up properties to attract buyers in a down market. In this case the center will do as much research as it needs to do so that it can attract drug company investment.

That means that in some cases, the center will use one of the institutes’ four new robotic screeners to find chemicals that affect enzymes and might lead to the development of a drug or a cure. In other cases, the center may need to not only discover the right chemicals but also perform animal tests to ensure that they are safe and even start human trials to see if they work. All of that has traditionally been done by drug companies, not the government.

“None of this is intended to be competitive with the private sector,” Dr. Collins said. “The hope would be that any project that reaches the point of commercial appeal would be moved out of the academic support line and into the private sector.”

And we are supposed to believe this.

Whether the government can succeed where private industry has failed is uncertain, officials acknowledge, but they say doing nothing is not an option. The health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, sent a letter to Congress on Jan. 14 outlining the plan to open the new drug center by October — an unusually rapid turnaround for an idea first released with little fanfare in December

An entirely new bureaucracy is born and neither we, the people, nor our representatives get to have anything to say about it. We no longer have a republic. We have some kind of quasi-dictatorship. Maybe not even so quasi.

Under the plan, more than $700 million in research projects already under way at various institutes and centers would be brought together at the new center. But officials hope that the prospect of finding new drugs will lure Congress into increasing the center’s financing well beyond $1 billion

Again, as we said, it won’t remain a "relatively small" $1 billion for long.

Still, we can remember when $1 billion was considered to be a lot of money.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “Obama Decrees A Drug Research Center”

  1. proreason says:

    Well we’ll soon see a cascade of innovative drugs from our Marxist Mother, just like governments around the world invented modern agriculture, the autombile industry, the airline industry, modern medicine, telecommunications, computers, retail distribution networks, fuel extraction industries, and…..oh wait a minute, that’s not quite right.

    We should actually expect a cascade of highly-paid bureaucrats with no background in medicine or chemistry lecturing us about why it’s no longer possible to develop new life-extending drugs.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, I’m sure barry the doctor will tell us that “everything that can be invented has been invented so there’s no real need to “work too hard” towards innovative medical technology…just improve what we already have.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Everett Dirksen (American Senator, 1896-1969)

    Hey, the Feds can’t so any worse than the effed up magical potions and disastrously dangerous drugs BigPharma already produces.

    (well, yeah, they can … but federal anything moves so slowly and is so poorly organized we’ll be off planet and have Star Trek styled Med-gadgets like the Medical Officer’s medical tricorders by then)

  3. mr_bill says:

    This is great, the government spends billions on “drug research” and I’ll wager the FDA never approves a single drug this new agency “produces.” The Bureau of Drug Research can be just like the Department of Energy and Department of Education in that they utterly fail to contribute one ounce of progress toward their namesake causes.

    Only Mr. Tone-deaf-in-chief could come up with such an asinine idea. Here’s a clue nerobama, we need less government spending, not more. I can imagine your SOTU speech tonight will be chock-full of doublespeak like the above news story: praising your “projected spending cuts” which will never amount to enough to buy a postage stamp, while calling all of your new spending proposals “investments.” The Constitution needs an amendment allowing for the recall of an entire administration.

  4. wardmama4 says:

    so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry

    Is this a joke? The time between an idea and actual prescribing is down – way down from what it use to be. As Big Pharma are using overseas ‘test groups’ – to avoid the restrictions/requirements that exist in the US on drug testing on humans. Drugs are not being manufactured in relation to the ultimate outcome (artificial skin formula languished for years until it was bought by Johnson – because the ‘market’ was considered so limited) but rather on how many people can be prescribed the drug (which is also one reason that the AMA has lowed the threshold for diabetes and cholesterol). The drug studies are being shown to be flawed, reviewed by Drs on the Big Pharma payroll and the FDA and many of these companies – have revolving ‘directors’.

    And now Obama wants to put this on steroids – that’s going to go well!?!

  5. Mae says:

    This better be on the “New Congress” agenda to defund immediately. Impossible to keep up with the little dictator on spending our money! What next!!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      “What next!!”
      Putting the fix on the Super Bowl will be my guess.
      ‘Dead Fish’ Emanuel has plenty of free time now
      that he can’t run for dog catcher!

  6. tranquil.night says:

    “None of this is intended to be competitive with the private sector,” Dr. Collins said. “The hope would be that any project that reaches the point of commercial appeal would be moved out of the academic support line and into the private sector.”

    Yeah, as in if we do manage to develop anything new, it’ll be manufactured in China.

    Ms. TN’s grandma had her prescription recalled because the dosages were ranging from proper to coma-inducing levels. Honestly, the ‘mishap’ was so brilliant because I couldn’t figure out if it came down to the Chi-Coms victory without a bullet campaign or Obama’s death panels.

    • proreason says:

      Have you seen the recent flury of articles about the inability of medical researchers and scientists to recreate a shocking amount of their research findings?

      The suspicion is that they develop a thesis and then prove the thesis, subconciously (in most cases) interpreting the actual results in favor of their thesis.

      When independent researchers, or in many cases even the original researcher, attempt to recreate the test, the results are usually different, and almost always LESS FAVORABLE to the thesis. Turns out this is largely true even for double-blind tests. (Disclaimer, I read about it in the msm, so there is a decent chance that the whole thing is bogus.)

      I believe it. It reminds me of my college chemistry lab. I was so stupid about chemistry that I had no idea what the results were supposed to be, but I ended up with the best grade in my group. All of the smart kids who “knew” what the results were supposed to be got the results they expected, but bad grades. The instructor was devious. Stupid me got lucky.

      Your grandma might have been taking a drug that doesn’t even fix the problem.

    • tranquil.night says:

      I completely believe it. Before that, they had her on an obscene amount of oxycotin a day – to the point where she just sat on the chair all day staring. Between what I know about physicians taking losses on their Medicare patients, much of big pharma’s connections to big government thanks to the obscene regulatory environment, and the Left’s penchant for end-of-life council, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to know they were just throwing pills at her for the sales royalties, or whatever, just to keep her out of the hospital.

      The Left’s conspiracy about Bush-Hitler’s Part D expansion is that he was secretly out to drug all seasoned citizens into oblivion. Of course that sounds more like a Leftist fantasy that became a gross consequence of the expansion of government health insurance.

  7. P. Aaron says:

    As if public colleges & universities aren’t already using mucho taxpayer dollars in these fields? The feds are just gonna expropriate some of their research, hire people to ‘file it’ in some hard drives and call it a research ‘institution’.

  8. BillK says:

    I think we all know drug research has slowed to a crawl because the drug companies know they will never be able to charge enough to recoup their research costs, not to mention that’s if they can even get it through the FDA’s amorphous maze of conflicting regulations to be able to bring the drugs to market.

    It’s simply not worth it anymore.

  9. BigOil says:

    Every journey towards nationalization begins with a single step. If Barrycare is not repealed, the government’s eventual iron-fisted control of the cost of medical care would logically have to extend to drugs.

  10. canary says:

    Big Oil. Civics is no longer taught in the High School here.
    This was on Obama’s wish list. He said in a speech that
    math & science are most important, so why are the schools doing a 180 degree turn in giving worthless classes, which will put us further behind other countries. He does the opposite of what he says.

    SEIU’s Andy Stern is now on the Board of Directors of SIGA. He represents the Federal Government on vaccinations.
    Golly. And now all of a sudden all these children being hospitalized from vaccinations in the news.
    The federal govt has about about 600 pages new regulations for drugs.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »