One pharmacologist’s mission to recycle blockbuster drugs into treatments for neglected diseases
By Melinda WennerPosted 05.02.2008 at 3:08 pm 1 Comment
With Big Pharma spending upward of $1 billion to bring a single drug to pharmacy shelves, its little wonder that unprofitable afflictions like malaria and African sleeping sickness go largely ignored. Curtis Chong witnessed this neglect firsthand in 2001 as a third-year medical student working in an emergency room in Mozambique. Day and night, malaria patients lined up for treatment, but Chongs medication stockpile was often too low or too antiquated to treat drug-resistant strains of the disease, and people were dying.
Six years later, the 31-year-old pharmacologist is spearheading an innovative way to bring better drugs, and more of them, to the developing world.
A system of visual icons could cut down on doctors' mistakes
By Jessica ChengPosted 04.25.2008 at 11:41 am 1 Comment
Road signs have been a blessing to many drivers, acting as a quick guide away from danger or to the nearest gas stations. Now researchers in France have come up with an iconic language of their own to help lead doctors to the right drug prescription. Jean-Baptiste Lamy and his colleagues at the University of Paris hope the VCM (Visulaisation des Connaissances Médicales) icon system will help lessen prescribing errors. Something often traced to restraints on physicians' time and resources that prevent them from easily looking up or remembering drug properties. With VCM, doctors can see the risks associated with any given drug at a glance.