The Truly Staggering Cost Of Inventing New Drugs

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Please read this article from Forbes?




“And we wonder why new MS drugs cost so much?”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

6 comments

  • Prof G,

    The figures don't explain why MS drugs (or other drugs) cost so much – the companies may be very inefficient i.e. the drugs could cost a lot less.

    And they get a good return on the investment. Here's GSK's results:

    "UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has reported pre-tax profits of £1.9bn during the three months to the end of December 2011, up from a £193m loss during the same period in 2010. For the whole year, the firm reported pre-tax profit of £8.2bn, up from £4.5bn in 2010."

    We shouldn't feel too sorry for these companies, particularly for MS drugs. They are getting well rewarded for selling some mildly effective drugs for MS sufferers.

  • Re: "GSK"

    GSK is a good example; they have already had two failure in MS (Rosiglitazone and Firategrast) and are having a go with ofatumumab in partnership with Genmab. Third time lucky?

  • ofatumab is another anti-CD20 like rituximab or ocriluzumab.

    It is the Lemming approach…follow the other pharmas. That was the same with firategast (VLA4 inhibitor) but unfortunately they followed UCB/Biogen with CPD323.. off the cliff

  • Take these numbers and mousedoctor's "drug the game" together and it explains drug pricing. Since it's so difficult to get a new drug to market the only consideration is 'How high can we price it?' They charge whatever the market can bear. It isn't related to the research and production cost for that particular drug.

    They are not private concerns or charities. Without high profits they won't have money for new research. And their share prices will crash.

  • I agree with the last comment.

    Current pharma income is based on R&D expenditure from 10 to 15 years ago. Current profits are funding R&D for drugs for the next generation.

    Without profits there will be no R&D and no new drugs.

    Pharma profits may be large, but then the risks associated with drug development probably warrant these profits. Without pharma who is going to develop treatments for MS?

    It's time we stopped bashing pharma and celebrate their success; without them where would be today? Waiting for a wheelchair and the prospect of assisted suicide?

    Pharma gives me hope; please don't shoot the Goose that lays the golden eggs!

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