Biopharma Obesity: Controlling Obesity in Laboratory Models – Food&Nutrition Example

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"Biopharma Obesity: Controlling Obesity in Laboratory Models" is a great example of a paper on food and nutrition. Worldwide obesity ranks as a major problem leading to coronary artery disease, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, type 2 diabetes, cor pulmonale, liver dysfunction, depression, low back pain, and a whole host of comorbid problems which affect the person, the family, and even the community at large in equating higher health care costs.   In a world with intermittent food supplies, the body learns to store energy to preserve metabolic function, however, if the body receives too much nutrient supply, it stores it as fat.   Genetic activation of the Leptin Gene has been implicated and associated with obesity, but ultimately the problem exists in dietary regimens and personal responsibility (Harrison's, Ch.

74). Drug treatment protocols include drugs that are currently effective include centrally acting ingredients, peripheral acting medications, and behavioral therapies.   Biostats on Obesity                       It is estimated, according to Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine(Ch. 74), that as many as 64% of US adults and 43% of UK citizens were overweight (HSCIC 2010, pg 13).   In the UK, 24% were categorized as obese while a full 33% were found to be categorically obese in the US.   These rates suggest a major problem in controlling the eating and dietary habits of both Western European countries and the North American populations.   Extreme obesity affects around 5% of the US population and associated comorbidities in these populations are numerous (Harrison's Ch.

74).   Market pricing of drug based on research costs and potential long term market potential worldwide In 2003 an article came out to wide criticism that costs for the development of market viable drugs were pegged at $802 million dollars (Collier, 2009).   Later articles in various journals decried the price as inflated, and yet others actually said it was undervalued and pegged real operational costs at closer to $1.7B US.

In developing the drug in question for this article, we peg the costs based on several factors. Direct costs would include (Walley, 2004) cost of biopharma staffing, equipment costs, insurance liability, clinical trial testing and several other factors such as quality-adjusted life year for determining the efficacy of the drug A full cost-benefit analysis would include the marketing costs, the expected gain in life years, working years gained, cost differential to society for those treated as opposed to maintaining the status quo and not treating, for example, migraine headache drug cost development, and the like (Walley, 2004).

Further, the authoritative study mentioned above in Collier's article states in the abstract: . ..that capitalization of the start to marketing cost estimates come in at just over US$800 million. Earlier studies also were crucial in substantiating a cost increase of just over 7% per annum when factoring in all costs to date.

Thus, the arrived at conclusion would be within acceptable estimates. (DiMasi et al, 2002)               The analysis of cost should include the market size. Since the market includes necessarily up to 10% of all overweight persons who might be borderline obese having not responded to lifestyle modifications, the market start is 64% of 300 million persons, giving us a total of 19 million potential patients to treat (Franco, 2006).   Obese patients were stated to be 1/3rd in the US yielding a further 80 to 100 million persons.   Marketing would be conducted via television ad sequences along with physician marketing and hospital programs conducted under the clinical trial.   Decreases in the categorical comorbidities would be further tracked along with the weight loss aspect to expand the cost-benefit analysis to the margin lowering the cost to the patient and increasing market potentials.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). U.S. Obesity Trends. Available: Last accessed 13 Sept. 2011.

Collier, Roger. (2009). Drug development cost estimates hard to swallow. Canadien Medical Association Journal. 180 (3), 279-280.

DiMasi, Joseph A., Hansen, Ronald W. , Grabowski, Henry G. . (2002). The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs.Journal of Health Economics. 22 (1), 151-185.

Harrison, TR. (2008). Biology of Obesity. In: Fauci, Anthony S. MD, Kasper, Dennis L. MD Harrison's Internal Medicine. NYC: McGraw-Hill. 433-435.

The NHS Information Centre, Lifestyles Statistics. (2011). Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet: England, 2010 . Available: Last accessed 13 Sept. 2011.

Ogden CL et al: (2007). The epidemiology of obesity. Gastroenterology 132(6):2087

Sassi, Franco . Health Policy Plan.(2006).doi: 10.1093/heapol/czl018 First published online:July 28, 2006 21 (5):402-408 Last accessed 13 Sept. 2011

Walley, T., 2004. Chapter 9 . Pharmacoeconomics and Economic Evaluation of Drug Therapies.

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