Over the past few years, pharmaceutical companies have made a tremendous amount of progress in the development of medicines critical to patient health. These medical treatments help individuals stay healthy longer, reclaim their health, manage their symptoms, or offer many other positive solutions to help improve quality of life.
Dozens of medications have been approved by the FDA over the past few years. These medicines impact a wide variety of health issues, providing options that:
– Reduce thrombotic cardiovascular events
– Treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections
– Treat various types of diabetes
– Treat hemophilia B
– Lessen the severity of asthma
– Treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
– Prevent chemo-induced nausea and vomiting
– Treat hereditary angioedema
– Manage relapsing multiple sclerosis
– Assist patients with active psoriatic arthritis
… and much, much more.
These treatments are just some of many that affect men and women, children and adults, with a variety of health issues of all severities and origins, whether a hereditary condition, infectious disease or otherwise.
While these medical advancements are amazing to see occur, we cannot overlook how hard it is to bring a new treatment through the research and development process all the way to final approval.
In fact, by 2014, the average cost to bring a new medicine to market reached $2.6 billion.
Why so much money? The cost of ongoing research, done for years at a time, followed by extensive clinical trials, matched with intense regulatory restrictions and rules make the development process incredibly difficult. A drug that reaches clinical trials only has a 12% chance of ever becoming an FDA-approved drug! While many, many drugs do not receive approval, the research and testing efforts that have been dedicated to them help to inform future iterations of new treatment options. The R&D process is ongoing and never-ending, as researchers seek to continue to find new ways to prevent, treat and cure health conditions. It’s true: Research doesn’t end on a medicine’s approval.
While these new drugs require an incredible amount of time, money and manpower devoted to them, the attention toward new treatment development has never been higher. Incredible investments are being made every year, allowing for new studies to be developed.
These investments have led to entirely new categories of therapies and medications. In 2015, over 1 in 4 new drugs approved were personalized medicines. Personalized medicines offer a tremendous amount of opportunities to health care providers looking to provide the best treatments to their individual patients. With personalized medicines, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Knowing patients’ genetic makeup helps to inform doctors of their responses to various medications, as well as their risks for various diseases. Personalized medications offer both preventative and reactive treatment options for a variety of medical issues.
There is a tremendous amount of research and excitement right now. Personalized medicines are just some of the categories of treatments in developments. We can’t forget other critically-needed studies and research, such as those to develop new vaccines. This research isn’t just done by major pharmaceutical companies – research and development includes the work of academic researchers, clinical trial centers, patients, government agencies, nonprofits, patient advocacy groups and more.
With the support of so many people and organizations, the future is bright for medical development – and for the patients who will benefit.