Pressure’s Off?

An interesting announcement of a sort of success – AIDS is likely to end as a pandemic, not because of a cure but because we can adequately medicate healthy people who are likely to be exposed to the disease.  

After some impressive early successes in the last century at eradicating fierce diseases such as polio, have we shifted gears from actually curing to lifelong treatments for prevention or management of disease?  I don’t think that many people would argue that it’s more profitable to treat someone for a lifetime than it is to cure people outright.  Is that a cynical way of viewing the juggernaut that is the pharmaceutical industry?
Once you have treatment options available to manage or potentially prevent infection, does the pressure to produce actual cures diminish greatly?  Considering that the market for any drug is now the world at large, will the world at large be able to afford the preventative treatments, or are they still praying for a cure?  This story makes me nervous, even as I’m grateful for progress in the fight against sickness and disease.

2 Responses to “Pressure’s Off?”

  1. Melissa Says:

    This is where we stand with Cystic Fibrosis also. They are searching for medications that will be taken for the rest of their life and will cost 1000’s of dollars each month. The worse part is that there are so few people with Cystic Fibrosis that, due to the lack of funds, it will be many years before those medications are found.

  2. Paul Nelson Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa.  I can’t imagine your frustration.

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