The National Institutes of Health says it will fund clinical trials on drugs the pharma industry isn't interested in pursuing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal this morning. The agency is considering funding early stage trials for new drugs designed to treat conditions for which there are few effective medicines available. The NIH program is already underway, with government money already having gone to help fund an early stage trial for a Schizophrenia drug developed by Eli Lilly. Government funding of research could remedy what critics have long viewed as one of the major weaknesses of the current drug development system: the fact that pharma companies often ignore research in areas which they feel show less commercial promise.
- see this story from the Wall Street Journal (sub. req)