When is a blockbuster not a blockbuster? When its sales are adjusted for inflation–or for a share of the global pharma market. That $1 billion blockbuster threshold might have been a lofty goal in 1987, but in today's dollars, the bar would stand at $1.75 billion, an IMS Health consultant postulates in an article for PharmaPhorum (Fierce Pharma 18-September-2012).

Genetically modified (GM) camels could be used as a cheap way to produce the pharmaceutical proteins used in drugs – through their milk. Lead scientist Nisar Wani at Dubai's Camel Reproduction Center says the team hopes the project will boost cost-effective drug production for the Middle East and North Africa, where affordability is low (In-Pharma Technologist 10-September-2012).

Costing less than US $0.50 per dose, the innovative vaccine that is manufactured by Serum Institute of India Ltd. (SIIL) has dramatically reduced disease burden in the first countries to introduce it, according to recently-published findings. MenAfriVac® is the first vaccine designed specifically to help health workers eliminate meningococcal A epidemics from Africa's “meningitis belt,” which includes 26 countries from Senegal to Ethiopia (Medical Press 14-November-2012).

Gordon J. Fishell, associate director of the NYU neuroscience institute told The New York Times that his lab alone had lost about 2,500 mice, including 40 different strains after Hurricane Sandy. “These animals were the culmination of 10 years of work, and it will take time to replace them,” Fishell told the NYT, which reported a total of some 7,500 more rodents lost from other labs in the Smilow building (The Scientist 2-November 2012).

Ukraine hopes changes to import laws will help cut trial start-up time from six month to 45 days. Business development director for Ukraine firm Clinical Trail Logistics (CTL) Aleksey Mykheev told CPhI attendees that importing clinical investigational products now involves just two or three documents. Three years ago, the standard was 10 (Outsourcing Pharma 25-October-2012).

The United States drug shortages aren not just affecting Big Pharma. On the contrary, 80% of products in short supply in the US are generic injectables, according to a report published in November 2011 by the IMS Institute. These particular shortages could be caused by difficulties in manufacturing and limited funding (Pharmaceutical Technology 29-October-2012).

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