Looking outside the United States, there are a few other nations leading innovations and breaking grounds in medical innovation. One of them is France. As one of the world’s leading economies and a nation with a relatively high life expectance of 82 years, France has pretty much done things right for a while now.
It is general knowledge that Europe is the second large pharmaceutical market after the United States. Within Europe, the leading innovators in medicine are Switzerland, United Kingdom and France. Among the three, France is the very personification of liberalism. After all, they are the ones who gave us socialism and liberalism.
Healthcare in France is either free or heavily subsidized for a vast majority of the population. You may think, how can that be even sustainable. Well, have you ever had a glance at tax rates in Europe? Income tax rates in many European nations go up as much as 60%. However, only the ultra-rich normally fall under such tax slabs.
Now that Emmanuel Macron, a self-confessed far-left candidate is in charge of the nation, one can assume healthcare to be further liberalized. However, in addition to liberalization, France’s higher life expectance is also partly due to a high level of innovations and research in the field of medicine.
One thing to keep in mind is that research in medicine often involves lot of risks and setbacks. Medicinal testing involves clinical trials, the morality of which is always being questioned. It is not unexpected to have collateral damage during the rollout of a new drug, for example.
This happened in France recently. In January 2016, a clinical trial of a drug in France led to catastrophic consequences. One person was killed and five others hospitalized. The compound, known as BIA 10-2474, was intended to be used in the fight against neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. Neurological diseases have always been a complex fight to wage.
Parkinson’s has stumped humanity for ages. A disease that affected 6 million people in 2015, it is something that is dreaded by people as they approach a certain age. The BIA 10-2474 was heralded as a breakthrough in the fight against neurological disorders, before the unfortunate incident happened.
The reason stated by the company that manufactured the compound was that the effects weren’t known before conducting the trials. More studies could have been done prior to clinical trials. While it is completely irresponsible from the part of the manufacturer, we have to understand that people can do only so much to limit collateral damage. At the end of the day, anything new has risks involved.