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Olivier Coquillo

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Why can't we all get together and find a cure to all terminal diseases?

I have not done enough research on collaboration between research centers but I promise to read all of your comments, since I am mostly asking this question to learn from you.

One of my dreams is to be able to witness an international collaboration and a public commitment from top research centers to find a cure to terminal diseases and to distribute the cure for free to people in need.

Do you think that there is a competition between research centers and scientists? Do you think that some groups are more focused on finding a cure to make money rather than finding a cure to save lives? I would love to know what you think.

OC

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  • May 3 2013: Scientific studies on therapeutic medicine or procedure have evolved into expensive work and involve long and expensive testing, and application for selling the products in the market, so that even academic research facilities have to get funds from drug companies or government agencies. And such supporters usually prohibit exchange of information with outside organizations by the researchers before the products are tested and patented. The times of quinine and penicillin, which are relatively easy to make/extract, is long gone, The research of new drugs nowadays needs expensive equipments and facilities, therefore the possibility of cooperation between researchers in different countries is not a simple situation. And even it is carried out , one still needs lengthy, exhaustive and expensive clinical trials to get the drugs to be sold for treatment uses. This means that a large drug manufacturing company must be involved. If we look at many new findings by some new biotechnology companies, they have to cooperate with the large companies to share the testing, manufacturing and marketing in order to get their new discoveries into the market for treating the patients.
    Personally I have participated in a number of research/humanity projects, such as use of HIV vaccine or treatment of hepatitis B in foreign (Asia, Africa) countries. But these projects were based on the contribution of the drug companies who have already held the patents of the vaccine or drugs. Of course, there were examples of treating HIV with a "cocktail" drug therapy (which was not patented as far as I know) to almost cure the AIDS (HIV+) patients. Another example, the drug; Lipitor (Atorvastatin), which probably contributed to the reduction of deaths from heart disease, is now off-patent, and becomes quite affordable in the generic form. These are the examples that we have to wait,or ask for exemption or reduction in price before the patent expires.
    Sorry for the discouragement, but it's true
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      May 6 2013: Thanks for sharing Bart. No need to be sorry for the discouragement. I still believe it can be done.

      OC
      • May 6 2013: Thanks for your reply. I was a researcher in a school of public health, specialized in drug testing and disease prevention. In my view, it is probably more important in preventing gastrointestinal infections to reduce mortality and morbidity in children and young adults than treating diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases mostly in the elderly. So, you could at least look into some devices or methods for the prevention of preventable diseases for younger people.
        For example, I just read a discussion in TED, which discussed a "contraption" made as a solar energy cooker. This cooker, if adopted, not only serves as a self-sufficient cooking equipment, it also could make distilled potable water (my idea). Furthermore I observed my neighbor who used to put water and tea leaves in a glass jar and left it under the Texas sunlight and after 4 to 6 hours, the tea is done ("cooked"). This was without the help of a solar panel at all. I am not an engineer, but I can see that a whole system of cooking and potable water making equipment could be made with manageable cost.
        The water could be either from collection of rain water, or from lakes or rivers. Then the only energy need is the sunlight.
        I hope that it is a useful idea for you to look into, if you are interested.

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