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Analysis and Comment (12)

Who’s going to pay for this? Who’s going to pay for this? image via www.shutterstock.com

Development of new drugs is threatened by budget cuts

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
A Liberian nurse disinfects a looted mattress taken from an elementary school that was used as an Ebola isolation unit in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. A Liberian nurse disinfects a looted mattress taken from an elementary school that was used as an Ebola isolation unit in West Point, Monrovia, Liberia. AHMED JALLANZO/EPA

Epidemic ethics: four lessons from the current Ebola outbreak

The extent of the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has belatedly focused the attention of non-governmental organisations, local and Western governments, and international media. What we haven’t…
Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for illnesses such as Ebola virus disease. Major pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in developing effective treatments for illnesses such as Ebola virus disease. AAP Image/David Crosling

How Western national interest drives Ebola drug development

Ebola virus disease typically only occurs in rural and remote areas among resource-poor populations. Until the large, recent outbreak in West Africa, cases of the illness were a rarity. So the fact that…
Cancer drugs like trastuzumab may not have been approved under the proposed rules. Cancer drugs like trastuzumab may not have been approved under the proposed rules. RedAndr

NHS watchdog changes could endanger new cancer drugs

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new draft proposals laying out major changes to the way it assesses whether new medicines offer value for money for the NHS. These…
Still could go one way or another. Still could go one way or another. Harsh Vardhan

Expert warns caution over possibility of Alzheimer’s pill

It has been described as a historical “turning point” in Alzheimer’s treatment - the first time a chemical has been found that can halt the death of brain tissue in a neurodegenerative disease, and could…
Many of the colours in medieval stained glass are produced by nanoparticles. Many of the colours in medieval stained glass are produced by nanoparticles. Quinn Anya

Nanotechnology in medicine isn’t just about size

While scientists develop new drugs to treat a multitude of conditions, nanotechnology is pushing the boundaries of how we deliver them to patients - targeting delivery to cancer cells and giving a drug…
Feeling fruity: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum forms ‘fruiting bodies’ Feeling fruity: the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum forms ‘fruiting bodies’ Robin Williams

Want a new epilepsy drug? Bring on the amoebas

Many therapeutic drugs and toxins affect us without us knowing exactly how. We know, for example, that Epilim, or sodium valproate, one of the most highly prescribed medicines for epilepsy can prevent…
There are no magic bullets in the antibiotic pipeline that will eradicate the superbugs. There are no magic bullets in the antibiotic pipeline that will eradicate the superbugs. Alessandro Pinna

New antibiotics: what’s in the pipeline?

Bacteria are one of the most successful colonisers of the planet. They can be found in almost all environments we know – from the deepest oceans to acid lakes, and inside and on our bodies. And the history…
The days when there was always a new antibiotic just around the corner to treat the latest superbug are long gone. The days when there was always a new antibiotic just around the corner to treat the latest superbug are long gone. Ralph Keating

Unblocking the pipeline for new antibiotics against superbugs

Most experts considering the subject agree that the antibiotic development pipeline is not sufficient by a long shot. The days when there was always a new antibiotic just around the corner to treat the…
Pharmaceutical companies are working in partnership with academia to bring drug candidates to clinical development. Pharmaceutical companies are working in partnership with academia to bring drug candidates to clinical development. Spark/Flickr

New drug buddies: pharma turns to academia for medicines pipeline

The 2008 global financial crisis and an impending “patent cliff” have had a profound impact on the profitability of the pharmaceutical industry – they have made it change how it works. So, to maintain…
Are we entering an era of better memory, less fear, greater popularity? Are we entering an era of better memory, less fear, greater popularity? Divine Harvester

Drugs to enhance us will enchant us … especially if there are no side effects

When people think about taking a new drug that can enhance who they are, or consider giving it to their child, their most immediate and appropriate concern centres on the potential health dangers. While…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (7)

Step forward for malaria treatment

A new drug compound has successfully cured malaria in mice models, according to University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers…