Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Editorial: Potential of drug means good things for world, NU

Perhaps the gods have smiled on Northwestern.

When biochemistry Prof. Richard Silverman discovered pregabalin in 1989, he probably never imagined that the drug could help make life better for millions of ailing individuals as well as be a financial boon to the university.

After years of various pharmaceutical companies funneling research and money into the drug, Pfizer Inc. is seeking approval by the Food and Drug Administration for pregabalin for at least three different uses, and perhaps a host more. The drug seems to provide relief to those who suffer from epilepsy, anxiety disorders, depression, nerve damage and even cancer pain.

And if industry experts are correct, pregabalin also might give NU a significant boost in its budget. Estimates upwards of $6 billion a year in revenue for the drug could translate into $300 million in additional funds for NU.

While most likely a long way down the road, such a windfall would give the university numerous opportunities to improve both its physical campus and its recruiting efforts. Better recruiting also could lead to similar patents for NU in the future.

Though this might result in a better university, the drug more importantly will mean much more to those who suffer from debilitating diseases.

So, what’s good for the world will be good for NU.

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Editorial: Potential of drug means good things for world, NU