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Big Pharma digs its claws deeper into academia under guise of research

Friday, August 02, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Big Pharma, academia, profit agenda


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(NaturalNews) Because the company has been unable to develop a steady stream of new "blockbuster" drugs on its own, London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has decided to expand its corporate reach by essentially merging itself with the publicly-funded academic realm. Reuters reports that AstraZeneca has made available to British academic researchers a slew of compounds that, as of yet, have no formidable uses within the drug industry, but that will be investigated using taxpayer dollars for the purpose of turning them into marketable drugs.

Framed by the media as a benevolent offering by AstraZeneca, the so-called "donation" of these compounds to academic research is actually nothing more than a sly business venture by the company to capitalize on the manpower of the taxpayer-funded research community. By securing more than $11 million in funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), the academic community will be able to conduct research for AstraZeneca on the taxpayers' dime, which will in turn lead to the development of new, for-profit pharmaceutical drugs.

According to Reuters, the money from MRC will be used to work on 15 different research projects, covering diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. Eight of these will involve conducting clinical trials on potential new drug formulas that are already further along the development pipeline, while the remaining seven will focus on more preliminary work involving compounds minimally tested in laboratory and animal models.

Big Pharma openly extorting public funds for private drug development

The end goal; however, is the same for all the compounds -- to create new drugs for the latest hyped-up diseases that AstraZeneca can capitalize on at a premium. And the best part for the company is that it will not have to invest any of its own money throughout the entire process, as MRC will be providing the financial backing to eventually bring these stunted drug compounds to market in the near future.

"Should something promising come out of the MRC-funded work, the financial benefits will be shared between AstraZeneca and the academic institution which made the discovery," says Reuters, noting that AstraZeneca also recently made drastic cuts to its neuroscience research staff, having decreased the staff from 800 employees down to a mere 40.

And why would the company not eliminate these employees, seeing as how it can get the same work done by taxpayer-funded researchers for free? It is all part of a mass collusion conspiracy that is taking place between private industry and academia, the latter of which is literally transforming into the research and development arm of the drug industry.

As we reported back in March, the same corrupt phenomenon is happening in the United States, where the federal government is now directly subsidizing the development of new drugs for the drug industry using failed drug compounds. Roughly $20 million a year could soon be extorted from taxpayers to beef up the drug industry's offerings in this way, not to mention all the other multi-million-dollar academic research projects taking place that are aimed at developing novel new drugs for drug companies.

"In decades past, academic-industry collaborations generally comprised agreements with individual investigators at specific universities and research organizations," wrote Stewart Lyman in a piece for Xconomy last year. "More recently, however, this process has metamorphosed into agreements where [P]harma has established alliances with entire departments or research institutions."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.pbs.org
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