Drug Innovation: The Research and Development Process

September 01, 2009
3:18 pm

New data released this week, shows that the biopharmaceutical industry spent a record $65.2 billion on research and development for new medicines in 2008.  There is no question that the path from understanding a disease to treating it is long, difficult and expensive.  Scientists are now beginning to understand human disease at the molecular level.  The task of discovering and developing safe and effective drugs is even more promising as our knowledge of disease increases.

Typically speaking, it takes close to 15 years to develop one new medicine from the time it is discovered to when it is available for treating patients.  The average cost to research and develop each successful drug is estimated to be $800 million to $1 billion.  For every 5,000-10,000 compounds that enter the research and development pipeline, only one receives approval.  Read more