The funny thing about for-profit companies is that their stakeholders expect them to make—are you ready for it—a profit. And for the majority of industries around the globe, people universally accept this fact. It is interesting, therefore, to look at the healthcare industry where the existence of a for-profit model is less widely accepted or at least is tinged with outcries for profit but not profiteering.
In the evening, when the kids are in bed and I get a chance to watch a few moments of television, I’m reminded of just how much the landscape has changed in the past five or more years when it comes to how large pharmaceutical companies market their products. It seems I can’t watch a sporting event or a movie without seeing advertisements for Lipitor, Prevacid, Ambien and countless others. I’ve come to the conclusion that “dry mouth” is a very, very common side effect of prescription medications, followed closely by bloating and cramping.
Recent trends in the drug discovery area have seen a variety of companies focusing on quality rather than quantity of compounds, instrumentation and data, which means the market demands high-quality compound synthesis for focused libraries; robust and easy-to-use compound storage; reliable transportation and compound handling across multiple sites; and information-rich assays such as those used for cell-based screening.