A THOSE OF US WHO SPEND OUR LIVES IMMERSED IN THE MINUTIA of drug development find ourselves embattled … on all sides. On the one hand, we’re chastised for the time it takes to get new drugs to the market (people are dying!). On the other hand, we’re excoriated for moving our drugs too fast (what about safety?). And then there are the pricing issues popular in the press today. Innovation and saving lives does not happen cheaply: 15 years of nonstop effort per drug, and hundreds of millions of USD. If we cannot recover the cost of developing our drugs and achieve a revenue stream that enables second-generation drugs that are even better, we will be forced to abandon innovation entirely. Activists, politicians, patient advocates, and tax payers can all complain now, but when there are no drugs to save the lives of their loved ones, cost will become irrelevant.
CAROL NACY, PH.D.
Carol is CEO of Sequella, Inc., a private company that develops new anti-infective drugs. She was formerly CSO at Anergen and EVP/CSO at EntreMed. Prior to her business experience, she directed research in tropical infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C.