As noted in this space many times, the images of the Food and Drug Administration as well as the pharmaceutical industry have been suffering greatly, most certainly in the post-COX-2 era. The result has been a rash of lawsuits, congressional hearings, policy-maker criticisms, lowered employee morale, whistle-blowing, and reform movements at both the state and federal levels aimed at the way medicines are discovered, approved, assessed and marketed.
Ironically this erosion of public trust occurs exactly at the same time that new medicines are delivering hope and promise to unparalleled numbers of people for a wider spectrum of illness than ever before. On this Memorial Day, I am once again reminded that only eleven years ago, people with an HIV diagnosis had virtually no treatment options and mortality was staggering. The toll was tremendous and stupefying. That is just one example, and perhaps the most dramatic, whereby the research, development and creativity of the pharmaceutical industry has produced nothing short of a miracle.
I thought, then, that it would be a good idea to get some insight into the current environment by speaking with Patrick Clinton, Editor-in-Chief of Pharmaceutical Executive magazine. I asked him what the FDA should be doing to face the image challenges and in turn, what industry ought to be doing. We closed by discussing what he thought were the greatest coming challenges for the CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry over the next two years. Running time just shy of 15 minutes.