Last 2010, Bruce Bloom, the CEO of Cures Within Reach, said that the organization has funded 190 novel drug project. Despite that astounding number, there was not a single drug that directly helps patients. This paved the way for funding drug repurposing projects. Out of the 10, 4 has generated enough practical benefits that provide physicians with the confidence to use them on patients. The conclusion is that there is a huge potential in the field of repurposing.
Drug repurposing, commonly known as drug repositioning, is the usage of already approved drugs as treatment for other diseases. This maximizes the utility of drugs on the market. It is also understandable that some drugs may become weaker over time. This is because of the human body’s constant development of immunity against it. A perfect example would be antibiotics. The oversaturation of antibiotics on the market has led to its ineffectivity. As a consequence, it is no longer sold over-the-counter and the patient is required to present a valid medical prescription from a licensed physician to acquire the drug.
New cancer treatments are being developed by the pharmaceutical industry every day. The problem is that the process of introducing it into the market is slow and expensive. It requires numerous tests and trials to be perfected. A solution to this is using available licensed medications and exploring them for anti-cancer potentials. This method of repurposing is practical and it is also beneficial, especially to the terminally-ill senior patients. Giving them more options will improve the quality of senior living, rather than entirely giving up on treating them. Repurposing drugs have the possibility to make clinically important contributions to cancer treatment. Furthermore, it could offer important economic and societal benefits to establish a more sustainable health care.
Naturally, repurposing is facing a lot of hurdles. It is difficult to attain immediate approval for it as it is deemed as a wild goose chase of randomly trying drugs. As a result, the Anticancer Fund attempts to quell these impressions by setting up clinical trials with researchers and by working with important individuals such as policymakers and pharmaceutical stakeholders. By corroborating with professionals, the repurposing of drugs can be based on educated hypotheses rather than random guesses.