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Lilly looks to autoimmune drugs

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Two local researchers show why Eli Lilly and Co. and its peers are interested in developing medicines to treat autoimmune diseases: The costs of treating them are growing twice as fast as the prescription drug market.

Dr. Vivianne Beyer of St. Vincent Health and Dr. Stephen E. Wolverton of the Indiana University School of Medicine examined the trends for treating psoriasis in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology, according to a story by BusinessWeek.

Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin disease that affects 4.5 million to 7.5 million people, costs Americans more than $3 billion each year in medicines, doctors visits, lab tests and monitoring.

The average annual costs for brand-name psoriasis treatments rose by 66 percent from 2000 to 2008, Beyer and Wolverton found. Costs for all prescription drugs rose 31 percent over the same time period.

One driver of the increase has been new biotech drugs, which range in cost from $18,000 to $28,000 each year.

Autoimmune disease is one of three key focuses at Lilly’s biotech development hub in San Diego. Also, in December, Lilly paid $90 million to acquire the rights to an oral treatment for autoimmune diseases developed by Delaware-based Incyte Corp.

Other autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and inflammatory bowel syndrome.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

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