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The Cure in the Code by Peter Huber

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8

DRUG SCIENCE FROM THE BOTTOM UP

WHEN HIV FIRST surfaced, there were no licensed treatments for the viral infection itself, nor for fungal pneumonia, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or many other obscure diseases on the long list of afflictions that assailed patients when their immune systems collapsed. Many Americans who are alive today owe their survival to the audacious, articulate persistence of the gay community in the 1980s and 1990s. Their response played a pivotal role in unleashing the power of molecular medicine. When Washington got on board by writing its new rules—anti-rules, actually, that spelled out when big chunks of the old rules wouldn’t be fully enforced—big drug companies delivered a slew of powerful new drugs, many of them designed from ...

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