- These types of pathologies are responsible for 41 million deaths worldwide.
- They mainly affect the elderly and are characterized by the fact that they do not cause immediate death, but rather a gradual one.
- Among the drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases, the most numerous are those created against cancer because there are 322 in development.
Chronic diseases are a serious global public health problem. Its impact is increasing and affects more people. Part of the blame is due to changes in lifestyle and diet, although they are not the only ones. Just to understand the magnitude of the situation, they are responsible for 41 million deaths per year, which is equivalent to 74% of all deaths on the planet.
Pathologies that cause slow and progressive deaths
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes them as long-term pathologies that are generated by the combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors. They usually affect the elderly, although anyone is at risk.
For their part, the The main chronic diseases are those of the cardiovascular type and include myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular accidents. Cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and obesity, among others, are also included.
In the same way, it should be considered that another of its risks is that They do not cause immediate but gradual death. Therefore, the quality of patients suffers a decrease that can last for years and even decades.
In low-resource settings, health care costs relative to chronic diseases They quickly deplete household resources. The exorbitant costs of medical care, including treatment, which is often lengthy and expensive, together with the loss of income, push millions of people into poverty each year and hold back development.
How many drugs against chronic diseases are in development?
Faced with this situation, one of the goals of the pharmaceutical industry is to design new drugs against chronic diseases. This is a complex goal because any formula requires decades of work from preclinical studies until it is made available to patients.
With this in mind, the report Medicines in Development 2022 Report: Chronic Diseases prepared by PhRMA mentions that there are almost 500 drugs in development to combat these types of conditions. All of them are in different stages of development, although they are broken down as follows:
- 322 for cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, pediatric cancer, and chronic forms of leukemia and lymphoma.
- 102 for cardiovascular disease, including congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke.
- 83 for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.
- 71 for type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- 70 for arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
- 67 for chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis.
Currently, all of the drugs mentioned are in various stages of development. In fact, only a minority has already completed all the stages to be able to be marketed. While the others still require a long way to be within the reach of patients.
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