Medical progress marches forward because clinical research is a venture that encourages daring and risk and does not fear or punish failure. Drug discovery may be the highest risk venture in the world. By its very nature it produces far more failures than successes.
For patients around the world, the successes of medical research are saving and changing lives. There are dramatic improvements in cancer survival; HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence; Polio is almost eradicated. Still for all the progress there is much yet to be done in treating, managing and preventing disease.
Access to essential medicines is a critical issue for patients whether they live in developed countries or in low and middle-income countries. To advance the human right to health it is essential that advocates and policy makers consider and address the full spectrum of access barriers: poverty, shortage of trained healthcare providers, corruption, negligible public health spending taxes and tariffs on medicines, inadequate transportation infrastructure, insufficient health delivery facilities.
The best hope for a treatment, cure or prevention for common devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s or for a rare disease like muscular dystrophy is through drug discovery and development. Yet the intellectual property rights and the patent protections essential to the search for cures are under attack. We aim to provide a forum for patient advocates, clinical researchers, academics and thought leaders who embrace the promise of medical discovery.