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Cameron's drugs problems
David Cameron recently announced plans to fast-track new drugs, making them available to patients more quickly, and before they have completed clinical trials.
Then the Times let the cat out of the bag. They called it "allowing the companies that develop innovative medicines to profit from their discoveries more quickly". That sounded exactly like Cameron and Tory health minister Lansley.
Next day I read that "cures for killer diseases are at risk from cuts". Scientific breakthroughs with the potential to cure Parkinson's Disease, and provide vaccines for global killers such as HIV / Aids and malaria are at risk from cuts to university spending, especially Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Imperial College and University College London.
Cambridge is seen as the birthplace of molecular biology and is a leading facility in the search for a cure for Parkinson's.
We might think a university like Cambridge is rolling in money but they had a 70% cut in infrastructure funding this year.
They are spending £200 million to replace a 48 year old molecular biology lab and had to divert operational funding to their capital programme to complete the project.
One academic warns that "this is not sustainable in the long term" and that "any further cuts would be extremely damaging to our ability to respond to future needs".
Cambridge has had £100 million from the government over the last three years but is due to receive only £45 million over the next three.
So Cameron wants to dole out untested drugs but on the other hand his cuts threaten to delay or prevent the development of new drugs. Is this confusion due to Cameron taking some drugs of his own or to defending a chaotic capitalist system dependent on profit?
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