In the Health Affair Blog, Vikas Sukhatme, Kathy Fang, Andrew Lo, and Vidula Sukhatme from Harvard and the MIT have posted a very interesting note entitled : Financial Orphan Therapies Looking For Adoption where they introduce the concept of «financial orphans drugs.»
The authors first review briefly the process of drug development today and its relatd issues (cost, risk ect...) and then expose the 4 categories of FOD :
1) New drug with IP protection with small market size or poor reimbursement potential.
2) An existing drug for a new indication with patent protection for the new use but that very likely will not generate enough benefit to allow state of the art clinical development.
3) An existing drug for a new use without patent protection.
4) Nutraceuticals, herbal products or other substances that were never patented.
5) Therapies focused on lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise or stress management.
Metronomics is therefore a type 2 FOD and we do believe the potentials solutions proposed and explored by Sukhatme and al. can perfectly be used for Metronomics.
They, then, propose some potential solutions relying on partnership between the non profit structures (academic, fundations, philanthropy), Pharmaceutical companies (classic or generic focussed) , Health Insurers and patients groups.
As concluded by the authors, the resutls “could be revolutionary—a democratization of drug development—for the benefit of all.”.
You can acess the full text by clicking here.