I read a rather confusing article about Esbriet, the first FDA-approved treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and I’d sincerely appreciate your help to make sense of it all. Let me explain…
The gist of the article states that, over the course of one year, Esbriet was shown to reduce disease progression of IPF within all stages of the disease. This includes data from three Phase lll placebo-blind studies, which followed nearly 1,250 people (diagnosed with IPF) and took place in Italy at the University of Turin. Of the people given Esbriet, 17 percent saw 10 percent lung function decline compared to 32 percent of people taking a placebo.
But what I want to know is: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHER 83 PERCENT OF PEOPLE ALSO TAKING ESBRIET?!
Somethin’ “aint’ right,” and it’s driving me crazy. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to have an effective treatment that will help to slow the progression of IPF. This is a major step in the right direction, certainly.
But I can’t help but wonder if the “success” of Esbriet and the way it’s being marketed is perhaps similar to FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s? Yeah, really!
C’mon, we’ve all seen them pitched on TV at all hours of the day and night as an “effective” treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s. The cold, hard facts are that MAYBE those drugs might help treat symptoms, but the clinical findings are something like 3 to 5 percent efficacy.
Think about it. In marketing, if you send out a direct mail piece (for example, an invitation to attend a charitable fundraiser) and you get a 3 to 5 percent response, that’s considered good!
So what’s going on with pharmaceutical companies? Are they in the same boat–touting their findings?