David Aaronovitch presents in-depth explainers on big issues in the news.
Manage episode 295300101 series 1301239
Most of us were blindsided by the novel virus SarsCov2, but infectious disease experts had been warning about the possibility of a global pandemic for some years. For them it was never a matter of if, but when. What did come as a surprise was the speed of scientific progress to fight Covid 19. The first effective vaccine, from Pfizer/BioNTech, was developed in under 300 days, followed in successive weeks by Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca. The results of the UK’s RECOVERY trial, which was organised in a matter of weeks, has saved an estimated million lives worldwide by identifying which treatments are effective in treating Covid 19. And regulators around the globe, like Britain’s MHRA, are using innovative programmes to get medical products to people faster. During the pandemic, the world witnessed how fast medicine can advance with an abundance of cash and collaboration. Is progress at this speed and cost sustainable? Sandra Kanthal asks if drug development is something which should still take decades, or have we learned how to permanently accelerate the process? Guests: Rod MacKenzie, Chief Development Officer, Pfizer Nuala Murphy, President Clinical Research Services, Icon Professor Sir Martin Landray, Co-Chief Investigator, RECOVERY Trial Nicholas Jackson, Head of Programmes and Technology, CEPI Christian Schneider, Interim Chief Scientific Officer, MHRA Hilda Bastian, Independent Scientist Producer and Presenter Sandra Kanthal Editor Jasper Corbett