The movie Lorenzo's oil revolves around a boy, his family and their struggle to stick together through a life threatening disease. At age six, Lorenzo develops a classic childhood case adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a disease that removes the white, lipid sheaths that surround neurons. Odone and Augusto work determinedly to try and find a therapy to stop the progress of this devastating disease. However, there is little assistance from the community and experts worked in isolation while the drug companies were not willing to study illness and come up with a cure. This drastically hindered the efforts to find the cure for the disease (Moser).
It is unacceptable to realize that the drug companies were not willing to develop an ALD drug citing lack of enough patients to drive their profit agenda. Looking at the film, there is a common concern in western culture as it portrays the struggle of individuals with less power against big institutions. In this case, the research institutions were not reacting to the desperate need of ALD families. When the Odones decided to carry out the research to find the cure for the disease, they ran up against ethical rules that restricted clinical trials (Moser).
The fact is that, if drug companies are brought together, they form the most profitable industry in the United States. As such, these companies can take a portion of their profit and finance the research on the orphanage disease (ALD). At the same time, they can use their profits to subsidize research on diseases that affect individuals and provide required assistance to those people who cannot afford various treatment.
Additionally, different companies claimed that they would not get their investment back due to lack of patients. The question is, is it guarantee that the companies will be capable of finding a cure if the number of patients increases? It may be too late since getting the treatment is not a one day job, it needs detailed research that can take years. At this time, more patient might end up dying while researchers are carrying out research. Furthermore, if the drug is found, it cannot be administered immediately, it takes years to study its effect on human beings. For, instance, doctors could not participate while Odone was testing Lorenzo's oil on their son stating that Odone had not conformed to the code of ethics that govern the testing of the drug on human beings. It is, therefore, essential for pharmaceutical companies to come up with the cure in advance to avoid causalities when the disease struck a larger population (Moser).
Moreover, it was better for the company to engage in research in advance to learn about the main issues regarding the disease. For instance, Odone faces some questions from doctors, and he was required to answer. An early question was why the VLCSFA levels of Lorenzo went up even when they had been eliminated from the diet he was taking. The second issue which Odone had to deal with was why biosynthesis of saturated fat was reduced after Lorenzo had been given oleic acid (Moser). This is some of the things the researcher could have known if they had carried out research. As such, this could have proven to be a challenge if they had not learned it earlier.
Notably, the movie portrays that the scientist did not work together in trying to find the cure for ALD. As a result, opportunities for putting together different ideas and coming up with good result were lost. For instance, Odones worked in isolation as other doctors refused to offer any assistance while Odones was trying Lorenzos oil (Moser).
Currently, there are no ways of preventing ALD. However, some treatment exists to manage some of the symptoms. However, Lorenzo's oil have shown some promise but if only the disease is detected early. Furthermore, it is recommended that those families with the history of the illness should go for counseling to testing ALD.
Conclusively, the essay has focused on the challenges Odone went through while trying to cure for ALD. The biggest problem was that the drug companies were not willing to carry out the research claiming it was expensive with no return. More agencies should come in to support various scientific research so as we have the cure before some diseases become more prevalent. The drug industry should also focus on the health of human being and assist where necessary.
Moser, Hugo W., James M. Powers, and Kirby D. Smith. "Adrenoleukodystrophy: molecular
genetics, pathology, and Lorenzo's oil." Brain pathology 5.3 (1995): 259-266.
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