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A common theme to emerge from the recent Life Science Industrial Strategy report in the UK is developing more collaboration between the NHS and the pharma industry. Better use of NHS resources and data could improve patient care and boost the UK’s healthcare industries. We consider the benefits of such a relationship.

We also find out how small family-owned generic drug factories in India are boosting competitiveness, take a closer look inside Norway’s prescriptions database, and learn more about a breakthrough in cardiovascular health after research found that anti-inflammatory drugs could significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, independent of cholesterol.

Finally, we ask why the US FDA has designated MDMA, or ecstasy, a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for the treatment of PTSD, and speak to a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia who are using a compound derived from red sage to treat osteoporosis.

In this issue

Crucial Collaboration
One big theme in the UK’s recently published Life Science Industrial Strategy report is developing more collaboration between the NHS and the pharma industry. Abi Millar looks into how this might work in practice.
Read the article here.

Rocking the US Generics Boat
Following poor results for big generic manufacturers, some of the blame has been traced to generic drug factories in India. Their rapid expansion has boosted competitiveness and driven down prices. Chris Lo reports.
Read the article here.

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Inside NorPD
A study of Norway’s unique prescription database has revealed that asthma medicine can halve a patient’s risk of developing Parkinson’s. Chris Lo finds out more about the discovery, which was made possible thanks to the Norwegian Prescription Database.
Read the article here.

Reducing the Risk
A research team in the US has found that anti-inflammatory drugs could reduce the risk of heart attacks, independent of cholesterol. Elly Earls finds out why this is being hailed as the biggest breakthrough since the discovery of statins.
Read the article here.

MDMA: Psychiatry’s Antibiotic?
MDMA has been achieving impressive results as an experimental treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Elly Earls finds out why its approval could mark the beginning of a new era for psychiatry.
Read the article here.

An Ancient Remedy
Using a compound derived from red sage, researchers have found a way to selectively block an enzyme that plays a major role in the breakdown of collagen in bones during osteoporosis. Abi Millar finds out more.
Read the article here.

Finding Effective Treatments
Although sales of disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis surpassed $20bn worldwide in 2016, making it one of the largest therapeutic areas in healthcare, many progressive types of the disease are still underserved. GlobalData considers the challenges in finding effective treatments.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Cancer cells can become addicted to the drugs designed to kill them, and now a group of scientists from The Netherlands Cancer Centre has uncovered the mechanism behind it. We find out why cells die en masse when treatment is removed and how this could be exploited in a clinical setting.

We also take a look at the NHS’s plans to cut £300m from its annual pharmaceuticals bill by using cheaper, generic alternatives to the most expensive drugs, find out more about Elsevier’s Unified Data Model, which has been donated to The Pistoia Alliance with the aim of publishing an open and freely available format for the exchange of drug discovery data, and take a closer look at a deal to sell the first generic antiretroviral for HIV/AIDS containing dolutegravir.

Finally, we speak to the Four Thieves Vinegar collective, which is working to allow people to develop their own medicines, and explore the issue of opioid addiction in the US, after Seattle became the latest city to sue big pharma over the problem.

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