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HEARTBURN AT KRATERMED
All is not well at KraterMed. Readers may well remember the fanfare with which that novel Research Unit had been established at Huronsville, just 5 years ago. It was hailed as the ultimate expression of Academic-Industrial collaboration which would usher in peace and prosperity to all citizens of Ontario. The Research Centre had been established by a consortium of pharmaceutical companies to investigate novel approaches to ulcer disease. The company had hoped to establish close collaborative links with the neighbouring medical school. Unfortunately these links were tenuous at best and the medical school had embarked on an ambitious but ultimately self-destructive Strategic Plan. Several key faculty had left for better climes. We have it on good authority that the real problem was the vicious infighting at Krater Med itself, particularly between the H. pylori group (referred to as The Buggers) and the group designing novel Proton Pump Inhibitors (Pumpers). Dr. Wasserhund, since his early association with Peter Mitchell in the late 60s, had been closely identified with the latter group. Unfortunately this did not mesh with the view of the parent Companies who saw little future in another proton-pump inhibitor. ZantacŪ, TagmetŪ and LosecŪ had virtually cornered the market and even if reversible pump inhibitors were to be developed, it was really unclear what the ultimate sales would be. The Buggers on the other hand are riding the Helicobacter wave and appear to have fashion at least on their side. In reality, Dr. Wasserhund's problem was that he was an academic who never really comprehended the pressures under which the Drug Industry struggles. Perhaps both parties may be wiser for his departure. At the moment though, workers at KraterMed are reaching for their RolaidsŪ (a whole lot cheaper than ZantecŪ or LosecŪ).
This problem is written in a different format, as a newspaper commentary. The students involved in this programme are required to complete 3 work terms. Many do this in labs attached to drug companies. Awareness of academic-industrial relations is important. This problem uses that as a starting point to explore the diverse treatments for peptic ulcer disease. Again all the key pharmacological terms are included as clues.
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