Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pipeline Update: Insomnia;
Implications for Basic Science

Yesterday, I did a CME program (Medscape, free registration required) on insomnia.  The program was sponsored by Pfizer and Neurocrine.  Neurocrine, as it turns out, is developing a new medication, indiplon, which Pfizer will market.  This sort of arrangement is common: a small company develops the drug, and then contracts with a big company to sell it.  Often, then, one of them will sponsor educational programs to promote awareness of the drug.  Because of FDA restrictions, they cannot actually advertise the drug before it is approved.  Therefore, they use the CME (Continuing Medical Education) channel to increase awareness of the product and develop some interest in the medical community.

Enough peripheral commentary.  The reason I care about this is that the CME program contained information about insomnia drugs in "the pipeline," those that are being developed for marketing.  Sometimes, understanding the action of new drugs can teach us important things about the functioning of the brain in health and disease states.  Read about this at The Rest of the Story.