Why Has There Been Little Innovation By The Pharmaceutical Industry For Patients With COPD?

by Dr. Alan Moy, November 8, 2018

I have been a practicing pulmonologist for over 20 years and been conducting medical research for over 30 years. I have taken care of thousand of COPD patients during my career. The consensus among my colleagues and patients is a great sense of disappointment that there has been little innovation for decades offered by the pharmaceutical industry in the treatment of COPD. One of my colleagues made the comment that when it comes to COPD, "The pharmaceutical industry has been shooting for mediocrity and failing miserably, but generating billions of dollars a year on inhalers." Since the pharmaceutical industry has failed to make an impact on patients suffering from COPD, stem cell clinics have stepped in and are offering expensive but unproven stem cell treatments for COPD patients. I frequently receive frustrating comments by COPD patients that inhalers have provided little benefit to them. Patients frequently ask for my opinion whether I would recommend stem cell treatments from these clinics. Since November is COPD Awareness month, I will offer my opinions in a series of posts that will address several issues that explain why there has been little innovation by the pharmaceutical industry. I will also explain what are the challenges that need to be solved in order for regenerative medicine can be realized for COPD patients.

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