Tuesday, November 25, 2014
According to a recent study, the average cost of the development of a new drug has risen to $2.6 billion. This represents a 145 percent increase over the results of a similar study conducted in 2003. It also is a number that will sink the pharmaceutical industry unless it finds better, faster and less expensive ways to create new medicines. Drug makers have created a PR problem for themselves. The public won't stand for the elevated cost of new medicines to the amount of hundreds of thousands a year for dosages. The government will balk as well and doctors will think twice before prescribing a costly cure. The pharma industry is putting itself in a box from which it might be difficult to extricate itself. Part of the industry's challenge is not of its own making. Rules and regulations have made the development and testing of new pharmaceuticals inordinately expensive. On the other hand, some in the industry were cutting corners in testing and not abiding by the rules of good science or medicine. Companies were throwing out negative studies and keeping positive ones to win faster approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The industry once had an exalted reputation for the miracle cures it produced. No more. It needs to slog with the rest of business and to fight PR battles through better operations and potent drugs.