BP#1 Medical Ethics in Drug Development Trials.

Reported story on BBC newsFull study in the journal Nature

BBC reports that its been more than a decade since the last Alzheimers drug was licensed for use.  A new Alzheimers drug through is having surprising success during intial trials though. The drug, Aducanumab, attacks the plaque that becomes the root cause of the disease. Initial trials have shown improvement in patients memory creation and recollection. However in a study of  165 patients, 40 dropped out. While a few of the drop outs were related to conflicts of consent the majority of the withdrawals were caused by patients experiencing serious side effects of urinary tract infection, migraines, and respiratory infections. Regardless of common side effects, the drug was deemed safe and has been moved onto  a larger trial including two separate studies and over 2,500 patients.

More often than not medical trails used in creating a new drug fall into an ethical grey area.  The basic understanding is causing a small amount of harm now in order to prevent a greater amount of harm in the future is for the benefit of mankind. A basic concept of hedonism, epicurism, and several other schools of philosophy, However straightforward this is though, it cannot be the straight line justification for medical trials like these. In the initial study 40 patients dropped out. That is 25 percent of the users who took the drug reported serious side effects. If the drug becomes licensed and distributed to 4 million people, that would conclude that potential 1 million people would experience side effects. A number i see as potentially being to high to justify its widespread usage.  Additionally is has to be considered that with today’s drug pricing a large percentage of the patients who could benefit from a new Alzheimers drug would not be able to pay for or receive it. In conclusion I don’t believe in this drugs case it is completely ethical to continue with larger trials.





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