Thursday, 17 December 2015

When your life is not profitable

For those who believe that market competition is the best thing for science, I hope you never get bitten by a coral snake:

"Antivenom shortage
The bite of a coral snake may soon be more dangerous, in part because bites are so uncommon. Production of coral snake antivenom in the United States ceased because it is not profitable. According to Pfizer, the owner of the company that used to make Coralmyn, it would take over $5–$10 million to put toward researching a new synthetic antivenom. The cost was too large for the small number of cases presented each year. The American antivenom stock expired in 2008, but the U.S.Food and Drug Administration has extended the expiration date every year through at least 2013. Foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers have produced other coral snake antivenoms, but the costs of licensing them in the United States have stalled availability (see above). Instituto Bioclon is developing a coral snake antivenom. In 2013, Pfizer was reportedly working on a new batch of antivenom but had not announced when it would become available." - Wikipedia