Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A new survey by the pharmaceutical industry has identified >900 new medicines in development to treat diseases of the elderly. The study's findings show that research-based drug companies now have 146 medicines in the pipeline for heart disease and stroke, plus another 399 promising new treatments for cancer.

Additionally, the industry is working on 27 new pharmaceuticals to address the problems caused by Alzheimer's disease. Health experts say that disease could afflict as many as 16 million people by the middle of this century unless a cure is found.

The survey results, released in a report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), also identified 19 new drugs under development to treat depression, 48 for diabetes, and 17 for Parkinson's disease. Other medicines address bladder and kidney diseases, eye disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, osteoarthritis, pain, prostate disease, respiratory and lung disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin conditions.

"Research-based pharmaceutical companies are actively searching for treatments and cures to help patients live healthier lives as they age,"said Billy Tauzin, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA.

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