PhRMA’s Holly Campbell reports on The Catalyst, the PhRMA’s blog, that prescription medicines save lives and cut health care costs. However, conjuring a drug to life is a challenging undertaking — and the science is only getting harder.
While it may sound counterintuitive, as our understanding of science grows, so does the complexity of developing new medicines — particularly as treatments are increasingly tailored to the unique needs of individual patients.
However, through failure, comes success.
For example, in the past 16 years, there were more than 100 unsuccessful attempts to develop medicines to treat Alzheimer's disease, 96 for melanoma and 167 for lung cancer.
But during this same period, 3 medicines were approved to treat Alzheimer's, 7 for melanoma and 10 for lung cancer.
Biology isn't rocket science. It's harder than rocket science.
Each living thing is an amazingly complex system and each interacts with other living things in complex ways. That is why discovering and developing new treatment and cures is such a complex and risky undertaking.
On average, it takes more than 10 years for just one medicine to make its way through the entire R&D process.
Moreover, the average cost to develop just one medicine has risen to $2.6 billion.
Despite these risks and challenges, America's biopharmaceutical companies are tireless in their pursuit of discovering new innovative medicines to improve the lives of patients.
With more than 7,000 medicines in development around the world, PhRMA has never been more optimistic about the future and the potential to help patients live longer, healthier lives.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $51.2 billion in 2014 alone.