Friday, October 1

cheap drugs

When people rue the high cost of pharaceuticals, and how the companies reap huge profits developing lifestyle drugs like Viagra and Levitra, I would think it's too bad that there weren't any nonprofit drug companies. The government could try to take over the role the companies play, but that would go against enough Americans' aversion to big government (with the possible exception of the military-industrial complex). Though I'm not one of these "small government" advocates, I don't trust our current government with this work any more than I trust industry.

Well, it turns out there is a nonprofit drug company, OneWorld Health that's working on drugs that will actually save lives. Their first drug is paromomycin, to treat leishmaniasis, a disease common in India and Yemen, among other places, and which causes skin lesions and liver problems.

Read the New Scientist interview with OneWorld's chief executive, Victoria Hale.


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