Episode 14: Big Pharma and Cures for Disease

Pills organized in a spiral shape

Listen to this Episode

Also Available At:        

Share This Episode

Recent Episodes

Episode Description

Treating disease will always be more profitable. There’s no doubt that from a financial perspective a company makes more money treating a disease over the lifetime of the patient than they ever will by curing that same disease. So why do cures still get developed? Why did we eradicate smallpox and cure Hepatitis C? Is there some reason why the all powerful Big Pharma wasn’t able to block these cures from ever being developed? Would they try? Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we discuss how Big Pharma influences and is, in turn, influenced by innovation and what that means for potential disease cures.


Soriano, V., et. al.; Hepatitis C Cure with Antiviral Therapy – Benefits Beyond the Liver. Antiviral Therapy. 25-Jun-2015. 21 (1 – 8). Doi.  https://doi.org/10.3851/imp2975

Breman, J.G., Arite, I.; The Confirmation and Maintenance of Smallpox Eradication. World Health Organization, Geneva Switzerland. 1980. No. WHO/SE/80.156.

Henderson, D.; Polio Eradication from the Western Hemisphere. Annual Review of Public Health. Pan-American Health Organization. 1992. 13: (239 – 252).

Packer, M.; It’s Official! Curing Patients is Bad for Business. MedPageToday. 18-Apr-2018. https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/revolutionandrevelation/72407

Ledford, H.; FDA Advisors Back Gene Therapy for Rare form of Blindness. Nature. 19-Oct-2017. 550: 314. Doi:  https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2017.22819

Jung, E., et. al.; Do Large Pharma Companies Provide Drug Development Innovation? Our Analysis Say No. StatNews. 10-Dec-2019. https://www.statnews.com/2019/12/10/large-pharma-companies-provide-little-new-drug-development-innovation/

Compton, K.; Big Pharma and Medical Device Manufacturers. DrugWatch. 19-Aug-2020. https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturers/

Lupkin, S.; A Decade Marked by Outrage Over Drug Prices. 31-Dec-2019. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/12/31/792617538/a-decade-marked-by-outrage-over-drug-prices

Musk, E.; All Our Patent Are Belong to You. Tesla. 12-Jun-2014. https://www.tesla.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

Strickler, L.; Purdue Pharma Offers as Much as $12 Billion to Settle Opioid Suits. NBCNews. 27-Aug-2019. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/purdue-pharma-offers-10-12-billion-settle-opioid-claims-n1046526

Survival Rates of Prostate Cancer. American Cancer Society. 09-Jan-2020. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-rates.html

Search Our PodcastsArticles

Search to find what you’re looking for

Find Us On

Our podcast content is also available on the following platforms:


Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts



Fresh Content
Direct to Your Inbox

Just add your email and hit subscribe to stay informed.