Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Son Is An Autistic Disorder Therapeutic Market Opportunity?

Pharma view of my son 

My view of my son

Apparently when pharmaceutical company executives contemplate the Autistic Disorder which limits the life of my son,  and the lives of many who suffer from the limitations imposed by Autistic Disorder, they see Autistic Disorder Therapeutic Market Opportunities, as described in thepharmaletter:

"The autism spectrum disorder (ASD) therapeutics market was valued at $3.1 billion in 2010 and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% over the next eight years to reach $5.5 billion by 2018, finds GlobalData’s new report titled Autistic Disorder Therapeutics.

This market growth is primarily attributed to the high prevalence (0.6% to 1%) and prevalence growth rate (10-17%) of ASD in the US and in certain European countries. Co-morbidities such as anxiety, epilepsy and depression associated with ASD also contribute to the growth of the ASD therapeutics market.


Preference for educational/behavioral therapy over medication

GlobalData’s analysis suggests that educational/behavioral therapies such as Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) through environmental changes and behavior modification are the preferred treatment options for ASD patients. There are two approved drugs available on the market for the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder; while off-label drugs are prescribed to provide symptomatic relief only.

Therefore, behavioral therapy is the preferred treatment option over drug therapy. However, drug treatment is still required in certain physiatric disorders and with certain challenging behavior associated with ASD. Approximately 50%-70% people are prescribed drug therapy as behavior therapies alone are not always sufficient for managing the disease."

Translating from Pharma Speak ($$$) into one of the known human languages (English): pharmaceutical corporate profits should continue to rise with increases in Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses. Not to worry about ABA and other behavioral interventions ... "preferred" options ... depriving "pharma" (their expression not mine) of profits.

I hope pharma will forgive me. When I see my son I do not see an Autistic Disorder Market Opportunity I see a wonderful and amazing boy who has enriched my life in a way not contemplated in pharma newsletters.  I don't see $$$ when I see my son.  I see his amazing smile, his laughter, the joy he brings us each day.


Claire said...

That is a rather chilling analysis. Really...that's just scary.

Stranded said...

makes me ill, but do we even have the ability to be shocked anymore or offended? Everything is a commodity.

Suzanne said...

I don't see a problem. In fact, I'm sure a lot of parents would APPRECIATE Big Pharma developing medication for their children's ASD symptoms and marketing it to them. If they develop a pill to improve my daughter's social skills, I'm buying!

farmwifetwo said...

I'm with Suzanne and you too have mentioned that if they find a cure - which could be a pill - you'd be in line.

And considering the number of ABA believers out there and the number of ABA practitioners and for each one a different form of ABA...

Then there's those that tell you your child cannot learn without Ipad apps.... yet there are many free online sites for children to play in and learn...

Autism is a "cash cow".

Personally, we'll keep "teaching" not "training". We've just started working on teaching full sentences/wh question answers with our flipbook (300+words). He's learned to use it in a matter of days. Just returned from Great Wolf Lodge... I didn't see any other severely autistic children there.... Should be lots since all their "training" with ABA they should be able to communicate, understand, follow instructions, choose an activity, enjoy the noise, confusion and the waterpark. Mine loves going... we went last Oct... speech vanishes entirely in the park, flapping is steady, quite often the ears get covered due to the noise, and I'm exhausted after dragging a double tube to the roof too many times... but he had a blast and that's all that matters.

Oh... and mine swims too... the wave pool is also a fav.

LokaSamasta said...


£3.1 Billion is just $1000 per autistic individual.

Not many drugs that work for autism are that cheap. Now that 55 pharma companies have been granted permission to grow cannabis for extraction of THC, I'd guess that a thousand dollars a year would cover it.

Where legal, growing your own is the cheapest option!

For those on the spectrum who are capable of doing it, ashtanga yoga works very well too, and once learnt (at a cost of about 300 dollars) is cost free for life :)

Take care x

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment Suzanne. IF Pharma develops a great pill wonderful. IF they do they should still show some respect in talking about people, any people, not just those with disorders. People, people with autistic disorders are more than just opportunities for profit.

My confidence in the extent to which they would place the health concerns of those who they target as possible recipients of their pills over profit if their data wasn't clear cut on the safety of their products is not enhanced by discussing human beings as market opportunities.

It wouldn't cost them anything to use respectful language in their newsletters.

Unknown said...

FW2 IF a pill is developed which is safe and helps my son of course I would "get in line" for it

That doesn't mean though that the companies that produce such pills, if they ever do, should be free to talk disrespectfully about those for whom they are produced. Talking about people with autistic disorders as therapeutic market opportunities is ghoulish.

If you want people treating your child with disrespect I can't stop you. Don't talk about my son that way though.

Bullet said...

It left a nasty taste in my mouth too. Comes at it with the angle of "look how much money we can make", rather than "look how we can help."

Unknown said...

Thank you Bullet. You said it best.