Whether you agree with the plan or not this is an impressive argument made by T.Boone Pickens http://www.pickensplan.com/. It's also a very impressive community he's building...
When you think about it the personalized medicine industry has some of the same challenges and some distinct differences...
Problem #1: US Healthcare costs (source: National Coalition on Healthcare)
In 2007, health care spending in the United States reached $2.3 trillion, and was projected to reach $3 trillion in 2011.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2016.1 Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense. In 2005, the United States spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent by 2016. Although nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens. Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Problem #2: Higher and higher bar set for FDA approval of new therapeutics in the same therapeutic class to treat the same disease with a "one size fits all" small pharmaceutical development strategy. Pharma has to spend more and more to face higher and higher hurdles to approval and their looking under every rock, inventing and naming new conditions and diseases and their pipelines are drying up. Trial and error medicine is dead.
Problem #3: As new companies address pharma's problems (Myriad, Genzyme, Vanda, Clinical Data, Algynomics, perlegen, genomic health, etc) by developing companion diagnostic tests to target therapy to individual patients ("likely responders") there are too few doctors (
Problem #4: Education. The lay-physician or GP has no formal training in genetics and has not likely seen genetic consults to discuss genetic testing. the physician has 7 mins to explain very complex subject matter with the patient putting undo pressure on the currently stressed system.
Problem #5: Distribution of tests. There are currently hundreds of small companies developing sophisticated molecular diagnostics which would adequately segment the "trial and error" population into a targeted and appropriate population for a specific therapeutic. But they do not have a central distribution channel for their personalized medicine tests.
My friends and I have a plan.....in two weeks we will begin to share it.....and we can all climb the mountain together.