CNBC’s Meg Tirrell reported on the popular “Squawk Box” program that patients suffering from Alzheimer disease in U.S and across the globe are assuming epidemic proportions with “5 million people currently have Alzheimer’s in the united states” alone and has been estimated to have been the “sixth leading cause of death” in the country. The talk show participants then went on to discuss how pharma majors from across the globe like Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have responded to this medical crisis.
The discourse on “Squawk Box” pointed out that currently available drugs “treat the symptoms” of Alzheimer and also pointed out the challenges faced by the multinational drug companies in producing drugs which address the “underlying cause of the disease”.
The program also threw light on the fact that close to 35.6 million patients are suffering from the old age disease of “Alzheimer’s or dementia” worldwide and even more worrisome are the expert estimates that its occurrence in patients is “expected to triple by 2050.”
Tirrell and her program guests then went on to discuss in detail the challenges that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and their peers are facing in designing drugs which prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s by explaining that, “ we actually don’t know what causes it. We don’t understand the biology well enough beneath this disease to be able to treat it well.”
The program then went on to express hope on a effective drug being discovered by the likes of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) in the near future by pointing out to the strong drug candidate pipelines these drug majors are working on currently. The participants pointed out that, “There’s 67 medicines in development, up from 22 in 2004.”