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July 27, 1994

Internists Eye Sophisticated Science

JAMA. 1994;272(4):257-258. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520040015006

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BIOTECHNOLOGY. It's not just for gene splicers anymore.

In the United States last year, 1300 biotechnology companies were up and running. During 1993 they raised $3 billion in new capital in the stock market, their second-best annual performance. Sales of at least two biotech drugs— erythropoietin and colony-stimulating factor—exceed $1 billion annually.

So after dealing handily with the stock market and pharmaceutical development, internal medicine isn't far off on the horizon. But internists needn't become molecular experts. Awareness of diagnostic methods and treatment tools produced through biotechnology's advances is the goal.

"The message for the general internist is that you can't keep up with all of it," says Ian Hart, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa (Ontario) Faculty of Medicine. Nevertheless, he detailed a sampling of new challenges and promising technologies in disease diagnosis and treatment during the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

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