From the managing editor
One year on from the start of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak – which has seen almost 24,000 cases reported, around 10,000 deaths and billions funnelled into a massive response effort – it’s been good to see pharma taking the initiative.
But with the news that Ebola cases are starting to decline the good the industry is doing could be in jeopardy. Where there were plentiful patients, now companies are struggling to find study recruits. The decline has already claimed one victim – Chimerix, which ceased investigations of its Ebola drug brincidofovir because efficacy would be hard to prove.
So where does that leave pharma and its R&D powerhouse?
There is a strong likelihood that studies will be shelved before results are seen but it would be a naive company to suspend the research altogether. Profits may not be forthcoming but this is one media-massive opportunity for the industry to prove its patient centricity and ensure we have a head start for when Ebola strikes again – because it will. The backlash if pharma was unprepared would be nothing short of unforgiving.
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