Pharmaceutical companies should pay for raiding nature's medicine cabinet

Canning, Adam D., Death, Russell G., and Waltham, Nathan J. (2021) Pharmaceutical companies should pay for raiding nature's medicine cabinet. Lancet. (In Press)

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Abstract

[Extract] In 2019, the pharmaceutical industry profited from US$1·2 trillion of global spending on medicines. Most of this is simply a cut of the $125 trillion worth of services provided by nature every year. Almost two-thirds of all small molecules approved by the US Food and Drug Administration between 1981 and 2014 were either inspired by, derived from, or mimicked natural resources or consisted of natural products. Even the COVID-19 pandemic solution could be derived from nature, with a vaccine developed from the blue blood of a living fossil—the horseshoe crab. After having existed for 450 million years, the horseshoe crab faces a declining population attributed to deteriorating coastlines, commercial fishing, and now blood harvesting for pharmaceutical benefit.

Item ID: 68953
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1474-547X
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2021 03:26
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410405 Environmental rehabilitation and restoration @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1803 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management > 180303 Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity @ 30%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives) @ 70%
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