The Cure in the Code
How 20th Century Law Is Undermining 21st Century Medicine
By Peter W. Huber
(Basic Books (AZ), Hardcover, 9780465050680, 277pp.)
Publication Date: November 2013
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Never before have two revolutions with so much potential to save and prolong human life occurred simultaneously. The converging, synergistic power of the biochemical and digital revolutions now allows us to read every letter of life's code, create precisely targeted drugs to control it, and tailor their use to individual patients. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and countless other killers can be vanquished--if we make full use of the tools of modern drug design and allow doctors the use of modern data gathering and analytical tools when prescribing drugs to their patients.
But Washington stands in the way, clinging to outdated drug-approval protocols developed decades ago during medicine's long battle with the infectious epidemics of the past. Peter Huber, an expert in science, technology, and public policy, demonstrates why Washington's one-size-fits-all drug policies can't deal with diseases rooted in the complex molecular diversity of human bodies. Washington is ill-equipped to handle the torrents of data that now propel the advance of molecular medicine and is reluctant to embrace the statistical methods of the digital age that can. Obsolete economic policies, often rationalized as cost-saving measures, stifle innovation and suppress investment in the medicine that can provide the best cures at the lowest cost.
In the 1980s, an AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence, until the FDA loosened its throttling grip and began streamlining and accelerating approval of life-saving drugs. "The Cure in the Code" shows patients, doctors, investors, and policy makers what we must now do to capture the full life-saving and cost-saving potential of the revolution in molecular medicine. America has to choose. At stake for America is the power to lead the world in mastering the most free, fecund, competitive, dynamic, and intelligent natural resource on the planet--the molecular code that spawns human life and controls our health.