The most profitable pharmaceutical production technologies lie locked up inside the biggest pharmaceutical companies labs. Evaluation of those procedures may be understandable the best during outbreaks of viral diseases.
Discovery of antiviral drugs was the biggest health treatment breakthrough (3). However, those drugs production needs investing great amount of money as to allow use of combinational chemistry aided with computer designs, molecular biology (3) and other high specific technologies. But thanks to them we can receive drugs saving our lives. Infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi are very well treatable those days. The ones caused by viruses are only under development. The company which invents or buys technology processes for antiviral drug production should not manage to add up their profits in the near future, as millions of people die from HIV, flu and other viral diseases.
The most fortunate companies as Swiss Roche are well prepared for the battle. Roche launches more than 100 new products every year. Focuses on molecular biology, genomics and genotherapy (5). Previously it invested in new technology platforms (4) labs, scientists, equipment, now they can count their gains. Of course helped them the dread of the global bird flu pandemy. They are the main owner of the patent for Tamiflu production and Tamiflu is generally, apart from Relenza, the only drug for curing bird flu infection (2). All money, those from production and those from issuing patent sublicences, come simply to Roche pocket. When we consider that during 2 years (2004, 2005) Tamiflu production has raised eightfould (2), one can have no doubt why Roche in 2005 didn’t want to share its patent (2). But governments and international bodies pressure resulted in directing the sublicences one to a company in China and the second in India for producing generic version of the drug, creating cooperation with 15 companies who produce some materials used in Tamiflu, and placing end-to-end production systems in USA and in Europe (1). Annual production of Tamiflu in 2006 was estimated by Roche as 400 mln treatment courses (1). The government orders mede it possible. More then 65 countries ordered Tamiflu to stockpile last year (1).
All those mean that antiviral drug production is on the way. Who will be the next winner?
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