Today’s pharmaceutical companies are replacing the one-drug-fits-all approach with more personalized therapies. According to a survey by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, 42 percent of drugs in the pipeline today are personalized medicines.
Specialized drugs that give smaller patient groups the best therapies based on their genetic makeup and other predictive factors are replacing blockbuster mega-drugs designed to treat larger populations. The patents for mega-drugs are slowly dying away.
For example, the one or two drugs used a few years ago to treat high cholesterol have splintered off into many, more focused therapies based on the genetic variables of specific patient populations.
Recently, my colleague Dr. Matthew Tormenti started a conversation about a topic that sparks strong opinions and emotions—a person with a terminal illness who decides to end their own life.
After discussing the varied points of view on this issue, Matt and I conceded there are no right or wrong decisions, only those that are best for the patient and their family. A person’s decision to end their own life must be carefully considered and absolutely certain—11 percent of patients who make this choice end up changing their mind.
It all started in 1984 when 18-year-old Libby Zion went to the emergency room at New York Hospital with flu-like symptoms.
The two young medical residents—physicians in training—who cared for Zion couldn’t determine the cause of her illness. They prescribed a medication that caused serotonin syndrome, a lethal interaction with a drug that she had been taking. Later that day, Zion died of cardiac arrest.
Her family claimed she died because the residents made poor decisions due to the fact that they were sleep-deprived from working 36-hour shifts. On the night of Zion’s death, one of the residents was responsible for 40 patients.
The usual mental images of the ancient art of glassblowing include fragile, colorful glass vases and bowls slowly rotating at the end of a long pipe as a glassblower painstakingly shapes and molds them. At Rohm & Haas, a master glassblower creates a different type of art that is vital to the company’s business.
When our scientists need specialized glassware for research experiments or when a piece they’re using breaks, they seek out Research Glassblower Victor Valentin. Victor, who has been sculpting scientific glassware for Rohm & Haas for 25 years, can craft a new piece or repair an existing one quickly, which helps keep research projects moving forward.
Written for Lancaster Health System Employee Newsletter
A Hero Behind the Scenes
Doctors and nurses at Lancaster General often play heroic, life-saving roles. But behind the scenes, many unassuming employees do heroic deeds every day, quietly and without acclaim. One of them is Cindy Sipe.
For the past two years, Cindy has worked on the Environmental Services team, cleaning patient rooms in the intensive care unit (ICU). Her supervisor praises not only Cindy's cleaning work, but also the other special skills she brings to her job.