Over the past week, high medicine prices have made the major headlines. A US Senate subcommittee critiqued pharmaceutical companies for charging $54,000 for new psoriasis treatments.
In the Spain, four cancer treatments were fallen because they were too expensive? In both cases, reasonably priced access for other drugs was not a main concern for the companies. This drug price problem was transferred to the developing world during the early days of the HIV/Aids health crisis, however nowadays, the high cost of many remedies is just as alarming for rich countries.
The Real Price Of Health
Drug development is extremely expensive with only one in 7,000 medicines making it to the market. Innovative vaccines are much more exclusive nowadays than older ones, causing a 72 fold increase for the poorest nations of the world, while some countries just cannot afford these serums.
Medications can take 15 years from original discovery phase to licensing approval with costs projected at $2.5 billion per drug. From the other side, the real profit is in the fact that the patient has to take that drug twice a day, every day. When it comes to pharmacological firms, few complaints are always on the board – that they emphasis research on diseases they can profit from and that they charge too much for treatments on their websites.
The Process Of Developing a Medication
The process of developing a simple pill is not that simple, in fact it involves several long-term stages. At the beginning, scientists work on understanding a specific disease, then they identify proper way to fight the disease. This process of “finding the way” is expensive as it involves separation of a defective protein or gene. Then, the search for a suitable compound begins, they may look at millions before finding one that is actually effective. The next stage, optimizing the compound can take five years and costs about $18m.
Next stage is pre-clinical testing, usually performed on animals; if effective, clinical trials begin in human volunteers to see if the drug is harmless. Only a third of all drugs make it to the phase two – testing on real patients. Just over half of all treatments make it through the clinical trials that are usually performed on large number of patients to provide confirmation of efficiency.
Gigantic Cost Of Drug Development
Finishing clinical trials are the most expensive and the need to create high quality component in large quantities results in the enormous cost of development. The problem with many drugs is that they are not approved for specific purpose, and because they are incredibly cheap, no pharmaceutical company has an motivation to get a license for them. It’s easy to see why is this procedure expensive – just one in 8,000 drug candidates make it to final licensing approval.
Unfortunately, medication development is likely to remain a luxurious and resource demanding procedure.
The test for both government and industry is to grab the tension that all firms have to resolve between keeping the world joyful and keeping the shareholders pleased.