Stanford Social Innovation Review

Dr. Bruce Bloom, April 8, 2016

Social finance could provide much-needed incentives for the development of known generic drugs to treat new diseases.

Around 500 million people globally suffer from one of 7,000 diseases that lack a known, effective treatment. But new drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry address only 10 to 30 additional diseases each year. At this rate, it would take between 250 and 700 years to find treatments for them all!

Fortunately, new drugs are not the only answer. We can also test the clinical benefits of drugs already approved for human use for one disease for the treatment of other diseases. In this way, we could quickly repurpose thousands of cheap and widely available generic drugs to create “new” treatments for diseases that currently lack remedies.
Repurposing has the potential to bring more treatments to more patients more quickly than discovering, testing safety and efficacy, and securing approval for new drugs; it also can significantly cut healthcare costs. Read the full article Here.

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