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Pharma's 10,000 Losses

Can systems biology save the drug industry?

Richard Gallagher

One staggering recent statistic was the Philadelphia Phillies suffering their 10,000th loss. According to SportsFan Magazine , "It takes blue-chip ineptitude on the field and off the field to lose 10,000 times in any sporting endeavor, and when it comes to ineptitude, the Phillies have no equals." 1

This hurts. Philadelphia is my adopted hometown, and I've come to realize that baseball matters. It is a great deal more than just fat men in pajamas playing rounders.

However, its relevance here is that the pharma industry may just be giving the Phillies a run for their money in the ineptitude stakes. As a senior pharma industry insider wrote in The Scientist earlier this year, (21(2):42-8, 2007), the teetering empire that is the drug industry is artless in at least as many ways as the Phillies.

Of course, both for pharma and the Phillies, hope springs eternal. There's always...

<figcaption>rgallagher@the-scientist.com</figcaption>
rgallagher@the-scientist.com

References

1. www.sportsfanmagazine.com/sfm/articles.html?id=3425 2. I. Berlin, The Power of Ideas , H. Hardy, ed., London: Pimlico, 2001. 3. http://jkalb.freeshell.org/more/scholars.html

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