Officials with PhRMA and trade groups representing biotech and generic drugmakers fear spending cuts that could hurt their members — on the prices paid for drugs bought through Medicare and Medicaid and to budgets for the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. The NIH funds much of the basic science research that underpins later research by drugmakers, and the FDA reviews drugs to decide which should be approved.
"We depend on policies that enable and encourage the risk-taking that is necessary ... for us to make billion-dollar bets with a time horizon of around a decade," Lechleiter said, noting that medicines account for only 10 percent of health care spending and often prevent expensive complications and hospitalizations.
Besides all the experimental drugs being tested in patients, the PhRMA study found another 6,551 were being tested in a total of 9,090 early research projects, in test tubes or animals. Most of those drugs and even ones in patient testing won't reach pharmacy shelves because they're eventually found to have dangerous side effects or not be effective. To get one new drug approved, it takes 10 to 15 years and costs about $1.2 billion, including the expense of all the failed drugs.
That cost is one reason more and more drug research is done in partnerships among drugmakers or with university scientists or patient organizations.
Link to the study: http://www.phrma.org/pipeline
National Organization for Rare Disorders site: http://www.rarediseases.org
Linda A. Johnson can be followed at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma.
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