By Royan Kamyar
Principal & Management Consultant @ MDMBA Consulting, LLC
Did you know if you limit your calorie intake, avoid processed sugars, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you will probably live a longer and healthier life? What about exercise? Did you realize that if you exercise on a daily basis, your chances of being flexible, strong and healthy in the long-run will increase? And did you know you need to sleep to be healthy? Yes it’s true! NIH researchers have spent nearly half a billion dollars over the last two years alone ensuring we become thoroughly aware of this fact.
And yet the focus within the health care industry hasn’t really been there – on these simple approaches to improving health. Instead, we’ve elected to competitively inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase in order to attack cholesterol biosynthesis, with a drug class whose realm of effects we’re still struggling to understand (statins). Or witness rosiglitazone (Avandia), our approach to type 2 diabetes involving agonistic activity at peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, which changes nuclear transcription patterns and alters the number of gene products involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. After reaching $3B in sales in 2006, the drug is now being pulled off the shelves in Europe and has black box warnings in the US for causing and exacerbating heart failure. With regard to obesity, a pill approach is now taking the form of psychiatric concoctions that are proving minimal efficacy and facing staunch FDA resistance.