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NEW STUDY PREDICTS PHARMACEUTICALS WILL DELIVER HALF OF ALL FUTURE MEDICAL PROGRESS -- IN MOST DISEASES EVEN MORE

      NEW STUDY PREDICTS PHARMACEUTICALS WILL DELIVER HALF OF
     ALL FUTURE MEDICAL PROGRESS -- IN MOST DISEASES EVEN MORE
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study released today concludes that pharmaceuticals will provide approximately half of all future medical progress in America and more than 80 percent in major diseases such as Alzheimer's, leukemia, AIDS and arthritis.
    The American biomedical research community, including the pharmaceutical industry, will contribute to advances in health care by providing increasingly specific drug therapies targeted to control and cure disease.  The report estimates that drug therapies will decrease the mortality from leukemia by 95 percent, cut cardiovascular mortality by 40 percent, and decrease morbidity from osteoarthritis by as much as 80 percent.
    For those who develop clinical AIDS as well as Alzheimer's disease, the majority of future reduction in morbidity and mortality is anticipated to come from new and better pharmaceuticals.
    At the forum convened today by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation, experts from organized medicine, university research, and industry also agreed that new developments in research will continue to transform the drug discovery and development process. According to the panelists, this ongoing transformation of R&D should increase the rate at which new therapeutic advances are introduced in the future.  As Louis Lasagna, M.D., director of the Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University, explained:
    "Genetics and molecular design are bringing us closer to understanding the basic mechanism of disease and consequently reducing the time of developing new therapies.  This will have a very positive influence on pharmaceutical research and development, which is already the principal thrust of future clinical advances."
    However, caution was raised by the experts that the three vital sources of pharmaceutical progress -- industry, academia and the National Institutes of Health -- must be provided continued support if advances of the past are to continue, and if the predictive analyses are to become reality.
    Survey Shows Americans Unaware Of Key Role Of Drugs In Medical Progress
    In spite of the past success of pharmaceutical research and development, a new Gallup Poll reveals that only 12 percent of Americans understand the degree to which new drug discoveries have contributed to medical progress over the past 30 years.
    Even expert respondents misjudged the contributions of pharmaceuticals in the last three decades, with fully 70 percent underestimating the extent of progress afforded by drugs.
    Looking to the next 20 years, consumer confidence was lowest (20 percent) in the pharmaceutical area for most medical progress when compared to lifestyle modification (26 percent), diagnostic devices (25 percent) and surgical techniques (25 percent).  Experts more accurately identified pharmaceuticals (43 percent) and lifestyle modification (40 percent) in their relative importance to most future medical progress.
    American Leadership Viewed As Stable But Not Assured
    Half the experts surveyed (50 percent) believe America is holding its position relative to other countries' drug R&D initiatives.  Less than one in five (18 percent) believe the United States is gaining ground.  Almost one-third (30 percent) of experts polled believe the U.S. is losing ground to other countries in pharmaceutical research. Asked to which country we are losing most ground, more experts (41 percent) cited Japan than any other country.
    The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation (PMAF) is an independent foundation of the PMA.  The PMAF is supported through the contributions of the approximately 100 research-based U.S. pharmaceutical companies that comprise the PMA's membership.  The PMA Foundation's primary mission is to provide biomedical research grants to university-based scientists, and in that effort has awarded approximately 1,500 grants since it was established in 1965.  The PMAF also conducts educational programs about American pharmaceutical R&D to help communicate accurate and important facts to the public and policy- makers.
    -0-        1/22/92
    /CONTACT:  Paul Laland, 202-835-3470 or 708-470-6584, for PMAF/ CO:  Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Foundation ST:  Illinois IN:  MTC SU:  ECO SM -- NY058 -- 2283 01/22/92 12:06 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 22, 1992
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