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The 'Disconnect'

In a recent article in Forbes, Matthew Herper writes that an ideal drug company would "bulk up on scientists" and limit large clinical trials. Companies looking to save money shouldn't shut down their labs, he says, adding, "Taking the ax to the scientists is probably a mistake."

At the In the Pipeline blog, Derek Lowe says there's always been a "disconnect" between the business and science ends of pharmaceutical companies, and that "stresses of the last few years have opened it up wider than ever." Making money from drug discovery is "trickier" than ever, he adds, and scientists "have never felt more threatened." But while he understands the feelings of scientists, Lowe says he can also see where the business people are coming from. The current cost structure is unsustainable, he adds. Although laying lots of scientists off isn't the solution, he's not sure what is.