In talking with people involved in research and development (R&D) of new
drugs the processes goes along 4-stages.
First... dose it work in lab and mouse trials. Can this be duplicated with
independent peer review. If so.. And does it do what it suppose to do and
don't kill the animal. Or make them sicker. This is the independent labs
work. They do this work for sale. The first step.
Second...it goes to human trial. Now these are people that have nothing to
loose. Everything else has not worked and they are on their last chance.
If it works to a statistical measure and if found it doesn't kill anybody. It
goes to a larger human trial. Many drugs go back to the drawing board if
these results are not good.
Third...These are people that are good candidates as per the criteria or
scope of the objective of this therapy intends to treat. The end goal has a
tendencies to modify as the trials progresses. It starts out being a wonder
drug and ends up curing some headache in certain people.
The second and third human trials are frequently funded by government.
If all is well and the drug has been defined as a treatment for whatever
and generally safe it gets approved for general use.
This whole process from the purchase of the patent from the lab takes
about five years. If all goes well.
It's here the drug company sends out the salesmen to peddle the drug and
you see it on the TV suggesting to ask your DR to give it to you.
A little known fact is that drug companies don't do R&D anymore. They
send out talent scouts to all the independent labs and research
labs and buy already proven murine (mouse) and invitro (petri or testube)
results. Then they replicate it themselves and they patent the molecule.
Then go to the government for the second and third human trials. Get the
grant money and take it from there. So when they say that the reason for
the high price is because of all the R&D they had to do it's not really true.
They bought it already done. The drug companies can advertise and
distribute it where as the lab that did the R&D can't.
With technology as improved as it is today small independent research
labs can do incredible breakthroughs and mostly do this work with the
intent to sell their findings to the next level as they can't market and
distribute the product as good as the big drug companies.
The rags to riches story where the guy discovers some new invention and
gets the patent and sells it to all the world and owns it from start to finish
doesn't work in todays complex society.
They will try this first on very sick people if it goes further.